WHO staff receives Tajik award for contribution to disability and rehabilitation sector

WHO/Rustam Babadjanov

Satish Mishra, Technical Officer for Disability and Rehabilitation, recipient of the “Exemplary Worker Award” from the Government of Tajikistan.

Satish Mishra, Technical Officer for Disability and Rehabilitation, at the WHO Country Office in Tajikistan was awarded the “Exemplary Worker Award” by the Government of Tajikistan for his work in the disability and rehabilitation sector, and contribution to the development of Tajikistan.

Since the country’s independence 27 years ago, it is the first time a development partner staff member has been selected for the award, which was given by the Minister for Health and Social Protection on behalf of the government. It is also the first time a person from a different country has received this award.

“I would like to thank the Government of Tajikistan and Ministry of Health for this award,” said Mr Mishra. “I feel that it is recognition of the importance of the disability and rehabilitation sector in the country and its contribution to improving the quality of life for people affected by a range of potentially disabling health conditions.” Emphasizing the need to expand upon their important work, he continued: “This [recognition] also means that the expectations of WHO from our partners will be much higher, and the bar of performance needs to be raised even further”.

Mr Mishra is heading the disability and rehabilitation programme for WHO in Tajikistan, which the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MOHSP) has implemented since late 2013. The programme spans 2 phases: in Phase I (2013–2016) WHO provided technical support to the MOHSP to develop a national policy, systems and services for rehabilitation; in Phase II (2016–2019) WHO is providing technical support to the MOHSP to strengthen and extend rehabilitation as part of universal health coverage.

“This award would not have been possible without the collaboration and support of colleagues in the WHO Country Office, Regional Office and headquarters,” stated Mr Mishra.

WHO work in Tajikistan is financially supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD). Key achievements of the disability and rehabilitation programme include providing support to the government in development and adoption of the multisectoral National Programme on Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (2017–2020), the first normative document on disability, as well as strengthening of the rehabilitation and assistive technology sector in Tajikistan.

WHO has provided substantial support to strengthen the quality of rehabilitation services and access to quality assistive products, as well as human resource development in the field of rehabilitation. In addition, along with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and disability stakeholders, WHO provided support to the Government of Tajikistan for accession to United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was signed by the government in March 2018.