‘Collaboration key to addressing problems of disabled’

New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) Collaboration of health care professionals, academics and interest groups working for the disabled is necessary to sensitise the public to issues faced by disabled people, a health ministry official said Saturday.

“More collaboration between health care professionals, academics, and interest groups engaged in the problems of disabled people will go a long way in ensuring that everyone is adequately sensitised to the differently-abled,” said Poonam K. Singh, advisor (international health), in the ministry of health and family welfare.

Singh was speaking at a one-day symposium which discussed various disability issues like barriers that accentuate disabling conditions, advocacy efforts in rehabilitation and promotion of disability studies within health care.

Elaborating on the importance of disability studies, A.K. Mukherjee, director general, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) said, “Everybody needs to be properly sensitised on disability issues in order to help the differently abled populace live their lives fully and improve the country’s health care indicators.”

According to experts, globally there are 500-650 million disabled people, which means that one person in ten faces a disability. By 2015, this figure is expected to rise to around 800 million, making people with disabilities the largest minority group in the world.

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