Reaching people with disabilities in Tajikistan’s communities

WHO/Mishra Satish

The Government of Tajikistan acknowledges that people with disabilities deserve to be treated equally alongside those without disabilities. Its recent measures to improve the quality of life of people living with disabilities demonstrate a shift towards promoting full inclusion.

In October 2016, the Government adopted the National Programme on Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities in Tajikistan (2017–2020) through Resolution No. 455. The Programme aims to create an enabling environment with equal opportunities for all through improved health, rehabilitation and social protection for those with disabilities. One of its key components is strengthening and extending community-based rehabilitation (CBR) to ensure the provision of rehabilitation services in rural and remote areas of Tajikistan.

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population, with technical assistance from WHO, conducted a 4-day intensive CBR training on 4–7 April 2017. Sixty participants from 30 nongovernmental organizations that provide CBR services across the country through a governmental social contracting mechanism attended the training, as well as representatives of the state agency of social protection.

The goals of the training were to strengthen participants’ understanding of issues related to disability and rehabilitation with a special emphasis on rural and remote communities; to increase understanding of the importance of the CBR approach; and to foster knowledge and skills related to appropriate interventions that enable people with disabilities to become an integral part of society and experience a better quality of life.

The national CBR network and the Ministry develop standards on CBR in Tajikistan to monitor and evaluate the country’s CBR programmes. These standards and the recent training session will increase access to services for people with disabilities – a precondition for achieving equal opportunities and living with dignity.

Work on CBR in Tajikistan is part of a disability rehabilitation programme implemented by the Ministry with technical support from WHO and financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).