The UN General Assembly proclaimed Dec. 3 as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 1992, with an aim to take attention to the solutions of the difficulties and problems these people face.
Emphasizing that disability is now seen as a human rights issue, WHO noted the fact that people are disabled not just by their bodies, but by the society.
“These barriers can be overcome, if governments, nongovernmental organizations, professionals and people with disabilities and their families work together,” the organization said in a report on disability.
A global increase in chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental health disorders are among the reasons for increased disability.
According to WHO data, over one billion people, out of seven billion world population, live with some form of disability. It also says the number is increasing every year.
Stating that 80 percent of persons with disabilities live in developing countries, it said 50 percent of them had unmet needs for healthcare.
There are over 100 million disabled children and they are around four times more likely to be exposed to violence compared with children without disabilities.
“Across the world, people with disabilities have poorer health outcomes, lower education achievements, less economic participation and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities.
“This is partly because people with disabilities experience barriers in accessing services that many of us have long taken for granted, including health, education, employment, and transport as well as information,” WHO said.