Improving life quality of people with disabilities

Dec 3, 2016

Each year December 3 is celebrated worldwide as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in line with the Resolution of UN General Assembly 47/3 dated October 14, 1992.

This year is a 10 year anniversary of adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) – ratified by many countries.

It is estimated that over then 1 billion people or 15% of population have some form of disability.

One of the priority areas for UNDP in Uzbekistan is the improvement of social policy, life quality and social integration of PWD.

The new Methodological toolkit for development and implementation of Individual Rehabilitation Programs was created in the framework of an action research carried out by the joint project of the Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Health and the UNDP.

The research covered key institutions engaged to provide services for PWDs: regional and city Medical Labor Expert Commissions, Employment centers, Republican Center of Rehabilitation of PWDs, Uzbek Society of disabled people. Opinions of were collected during survey and focus group discussions.

The new Toolkit was presented on November 4, 2016 at a conference held in the premises of the Tashkent city department of Extra-budgetary Pension Fund. The  Toolkit was designed for Medical Labor-Expert Commission (MLEC) doctors, specialists of healthcare system, rehabilitation centers’ workers, teachers of medical high schools and students of MLEC department of Tashkent Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education.

The event was organized by Republican Inspection for medico-social expertise of Extra-budgetary Pension Fund at the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the support of the UNDP.

The seminar was attended by over then 70 specialists of medical-labour expertise service from all the regions of Uzbekistan, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Interior Affairs, Ministry of Healthcare, the National Center for Rehabilitation and Prosthetics of Disabled, Tashkent Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education, the Council of Federation of Trade Unions and Disabled People Society in Uzbekistan.

During the seminar the presentations of the project working group members, as well as rehabilitation centers and regional MLEC specialists, were presented.

It should be noted that an individual rehabilitation program for PWD includes a set of measures aimed at medical, social and vocational rehabilitation.

The main body implementing IPRs for medical and social rehabilitation is the National Rehabilitation Center and its 10 regional departments. The system of rehabilitation centers provide services to 17 thousands PWDs a year.

Analysis of the existing practices shows that MLEC members pay primary attention to the medical rehabilitation aspects, but development of social and professional rehabilitation remains a challenge.

More than 80 legislative acts were analyzed during the research. Legislative analysis showed that many provisions of existing regulations implemented just partially.

Participants of the seminar noticed that IRPs have a good potential and basis for health improvement of population.

It should be noted that IPRs includes the set of activities not only for medical rehabilitation, but also covers social and professional aspects.

In order to fill the knowledge gap of acting specialists of MLEC and rehabilitation centers the project developed Methodological guidelines, which represent a practical toolkit for development and implementation of rehabilitation programs based on the examples from real life. 

The participants were also introduced to basic concepts of the International Classification of Functioning (ICF), Disability and Health, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO, and recommended to all member states.

ICF is intended to improve the life of PWDs by providing them with professional rehabilitation and employment, assessment of barriers, development of systems for social security, development of individual rehabilitation programs, provision of targeted social services and selection of relevant measures for social assistance.

ICF shifts the focus from the causes of illness to its sequences and apply multi-dimensional scale for assessment of disability.

The participants of the seminar discussed matters related to the disability certification and rehabilitation. The participants suggested a set of recommendations for further development of IPR and better coordination between agencies involved. Implementation of these recommendations will allow to reduce barriers for comprehensive medical and social rehabilitation and fulfillment of the rights of people with disabilities.   

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