WHO comes out with draft norms on rehabilitation

Staff Reporter

Over 150 experts have contributed to the draft guidelines

WHO organising 29 workshops to validate the guidelines

Bangalore: Emergency crisis situations, HIV/AIDS and persons with mental illness have been given special emphasis in the new Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) draft guidelines developed by the World Health Organisation jointly with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and United Nations Education Scientific Education and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

“Emergency situations such as accidents, natural and man-made disasters create a new set of persons with disabilities whose needs have to be addressed and CBR can play a major role in this endeavour. Moreover, it was noticed that in earlier rehabilitation programmes for people in crisis situations, sustainability was poor and victims had to fend for themselves. CBR is plays an important role in inclusion of persons with mental illness and HIV/AIDS,” said Chapal Khasnabis, Technical Officer, Disability and Rehabilitation, Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention, WHO, Geneva.

The CBR guidelines keep the persons with disabilities and their families at the centre and focus on their empowerment through meeting basic needs and reducing poverty, he said.

Speaking at the opening day of the three-day consultative meeting organised by WHO, Rehabilitation Council of India and Leonard Cheshire International for validation of the draft guidelines on CBR here on Monday, Mr. Khasnabis said: “The emphasis is on creating opportunities where persons with disabilities can have access to health, education and livelihood and to ensure the development of multi-sectoral linkages for a community based and inclusive development of persons with disabilities.

That is why WHO is involving governments and voluntary organisations apart from persons with disabilities in a major way in developing the CBR guidelines.” WHO is organising 29 workshops in different parts of the world to validate the guidelines to get feedback from implementers on efficacy and areas for improvement.

Over 150 experts from across the world have contributed to the draft guidelines including 10 from India.

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