International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December

3 December, 2021

Extracts below and a comment from me. Read online:


Did you know?

- Of the one billion population of persons with disabilities, 80% live in developing countries.

- An estimated 46% of older people aged 60 years and over are people with disabilities.

- One in every five women is likely to experience disability in her life, while one in every ten children is a child with a disability.

- Persons with disabilities in the world are among the hardest hit by COVID-19.


From the WHO website:

Key facts:

Over 1 billion people live with some form of disability.

The number of people with disability are dramatically increasing. This is due to demographic trends and increases in chronic health conditions, among other causes.

Almost everyone is likely to experience some form of disability – temporary or permanent – at some point in life.

People with disability are disproportionately affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When people with disability access health care, they often experience stigma and discrimination, and receive poor quality services.

There is an urgent need to scale up disability inclusion in all levels of the health system, particularly primary health care.

COMMENT (NPW): I was involved in a PAHO workshop the past 3 days (along with many HIFA members) where we discussed knowledge management and inclusive digital health (among other topics). People with disabilities may be disadvantaged not only in terms of access to reliable healthcare information, but also in their ability to share and learn with others, and to have a voice in society at large and in decisions that may affect them. We have touched on these issues on HIFA but I think we can and should do a lot better to highlight and address them. We are proud to have a number of 'HIFA supporting organisations' that work with people with disability, and we are keen to welcome more people on HIFA who live with disability and the people who work with them. Join here:

Best wishes, Neil

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,