- People with disabilities are more than twice as likely to die prematurely, taking 10 to 20 years off their life expectancy, report finds.
- Health services must be designed to include one billion people with disabilities globally following shocking findings on life expectancy.
The Missing Billion Initiative and Clinton Health Access Initiative have published a new report that highlights global health inequities affecting more than one billion people living with disabilities worldwide, envisions health systems that are designed to be fully inclusive, and provides a practical roadmap with targets and actions for key stakeholders.
The Reimagining Health Systems that Expect, Accept and Connect 1 billion people with Disabilities report was released at the World Health Summit in Berlin in October. There are more than one billion people with disabilities, representing 15 percent of the world’s population. People with disabilities often have greater health needs but experience more barriers to accessing care because of health system failures at all levels. These include a lack of funding for assistive technology, national policies and strategies, diagnostic tools, and trained staff, as well as a fragmented donor landscape and delivery systems. As a result, they frequently have poorer health outcomes, which were only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the world moves beyond the pandemic towards “building back better”, the Missing Billion report suggests that health services and systems must be inclusive of people living with disabilities, especially if the global health community hopes to catalyse essential change by 2030.
The report combines analysis of a data set of 65,000 people with disabilities, systematic reviews of dozens of studies, modeling, and personal perspectives from more than 400 people with disabilities. It also includes a vision for inclusive health where people with disabilities are expected, accepted, and connected within health systems and hysical, sensory, attitudinal, cost, and other barriers to quality care are dismantled.