Better services for people with disabilities in Tajikistan
The WHO Country Office, Tajikistan is working with the Government to improve disability rehabilitation services and increase the numbers of trained rehabilitation professionals in the country. With financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), they have started a three-year project to develop a national policy, and improve the system and services for physical rehabilitation, with a focus on community-based services and human resource development. The project will address a wide range of disabling conditions for which rehabilitation can improve the quality of life, including poliomyelitis (polio).
The project kicked off in September 2013 with an orientation meeting for policy-makers. Two senior representatives of the Ministry of Health visited training institutes and rehabilitation centres, and participated in a three-day health conference in St Petersburg, Russian Federation.
Capacity-building activities for government rehabilitation centres working with children and adults with disabilities have also begun. Since October 2013, WHO has supplied the rehabilitation centres with an internationally trained physiotherapist and started on-the-job capacity building for the staff (doctors, nurses and therapists). National workshops on rehabilitation management for various disabling conditions are planned for December 2013.
In addition, WHO has started a situation analysis on physical rehabilitation and mobility devices in Tajikistan. The Ministry of Health prepared a position paper on better health for people with disabilities, which covers a six-year period and is to be launched on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2013.
People with disabilities in Tajikistan
Significant numbers of children in the country have multiple impairments, including cerebral palsy and congenital anomalies, and need rehabilitation services. Other groups in need include people affected by stroke, diabetes and road traffic accidents, and older people with reduced functioning or mobility.
In 2010, Tajikistan experienced a large polio outbreak affecting 712 people, mostly children. Many of these have developed impairments and need long-term physical rehabilitation care.