Tajikistan launches National Programme on Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities

WHO

On 28 October 2016, the Government of Tajikistan approved and adopted the National Programme on Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (2017–2020) through Resolution No. 455. The goal of the multisectoral National Programme is to improve health, rehabilitation and social protection for people with disabilities to create an enabling environment with equal opportunities for all in Tajikistan. It focuses on all individuals with long-term impairments (physical impairments, blindness, speech and/or hearing impairments, intellectual impairments or mental health conditions) as well as individuals who experience functional difficulties due to noncommunicable diseases, infectious diseases, neurological disorders, mental illness, injuries, conditions after surgeries or ageing.

The National Programme’s development was part of a disability rehabilitation programme implemented by Tajikistan’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection, undertaken with technical support from WHO and financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD).

To raise awareness and to inform the wider population about the adoption of the National Programme, the Ministry worked with WHO to initiate a launch event on 20 January 2017. Around 300 participants from all over the country were guided through the National Programme’s development process, gaining an excellent overview of its objectives, strategic pillars and tasks, including plans of action and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

The event benefitted all those working in the disability rehabilitation sector, including government institutions, United Nations agencies, the donor community, national and international organizations, the media, disabled people’s organizations and people with disabilities. All participants welcomed the National Programme and emphasized its crucial role in addressing disability as a public health issue, a human rights issue and a development priority.

The event’s key message was that the implementation of the National Programme will require concerted action from governments, citizens, development partners, civil society, the private sector, disabled people’s organizations and disabled individuals to promote the rights of people with disabilities. This will assist the country in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which set out a vision of a world that is fully inclusive of people with disabilities.