Global Health Asia-Pacific Issue 2 | 2023 | Page 71

regarded as fundamental to disability inclusion . Putting a universal design in the original infrastructure construction plan will be more cost-effective than after installation . Furthermore , it can benefit people other than the disabled community . For example , ramps at hospitals which are initially designed for wheelchair accessibility can also help individuals with difficulty in climbing stairs , pregnant women , and workers moving in heavy items using trolleys . Outside the health sector , universal design can be used in areas such as town centres to facilitate pedestrian navigation and public transportation stops , making it easier for disabled and older people to board buses and trains .
Health funding and investments facilitate disability inclusiveness Implementing a progressive universalism as a health financing principle entails prioritising the rights and needs of the most marginalised groups of the population , such as people with disabilities . Therefore , setting up universal healthcare coverage ( UHC ) is essential to ensure that disabled groups receive adequate health services without incurring financial hardship . �HC encompasses a range of critical , high-quality health services , including health promotion , prevention , treatment , rehabilitation , and palliative care .
WHO has indicated that governments can anticipate a return of about US $ 10 for every US $ 1 invested in disability-inclusive non-communicable disease ( NCD ) prevention and care . This is based on a previous cost-benefit analysis involving an investment of US $ 1 in accessible cancer interventions in low- and middle-income countries , bringing a return of US $ 8.70 . In addition , another similar study that includes a dietary approach to heart disease prevention suggests a return on investment of US $ 5.10 for every US $ 1 invested .
Digital technologies for improved outcome Technological developments can empower disabled individuals to manage their health and access health information and services . Establishing telehealth services has improved the efficiency of integrated health services and care delivery to the disabled community . Furthermore , emerging health technologies such as mobile vision and hearing assessment apps enable sidelined communities to access quality healthcare services . Increased connectivity allows for electronic medical records of patients to be compiled and relayed seamlessly , allowing healthcare providers to make accurate decisions during patient treatment for positive clinical outcomes .
Governments must play more active role Monitoring and evaluation are important to promote
Telehealth services benefit the disabled community .
disability inclusion . For instance , disability-related data are necessary for countries to develop evidencebased policies in order to monitor the CRPD ’ s implementation . The data can also be used to assist countries gauge their progress towards national objectives and enable them to make improvements in nationwide policies such as UHC coverage , public health interventions , and the rate of health equity among the local disabled community .
While the report states that progress had been made to reduce the health inequity among the disabled community , much still needs to be done . The WHO ’ s Director-General , Dr Tedros , expressed hope that the key policies and programmatic actions recommended in the report would be observed by governments worldwide to develop their healthcare services in a disability inclusive way . “ We hope that governments , health partners and civil society , including organisations of persons with disabilities , will work together to implement the recommendations in this report so that persons with disabilities can realise the highest attainable standard of health ,” he said . n
GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com ISSUE 2 | 2023