Vinny Smith, Chief Executive at MRF said, “We welcome DFID’s strategy for disability inclusive development. It’s encouraging to see that the strategy focuses not just on physical impairments, but also on mental health and psychosocial disability as well.
“This year we joined the World Health Organization’s new expert taskforce to defeat meningitis by 2030. It’s excellent that DFID’s strategy wants to see support services available to people for the full range of health outcomes that meningitis can lead to, and acknowledges that more can be done through the work of DFID and its partners to ensure that people with disabilities are able to assert their rights to access services, including quality healthcare, and to participate fully and meaningfully in society. This will be one of our calls as we move forward with the global plan.”
As a charity with evidence at its core, MRF particularly welcomes DFID’s recognition of the need for better data in order to ensure that disability inclusive development programming can be evidence-based and progress can be measured.
Another important focus of the strategy is the need for global pushes on Universal Health Coverage to ensure that everyone is reached and can access services without financial hardship. Equitable access to quality healthcare for people with disabilities is crucial. This includes services that everyone requires in addition to the specific support services that disability-related health needs necessitate.
In MRF’s experience, those with intellectual disability (disability characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behaviour), as well as physical disabilities experience difficulty accessing support services. The DFID strategy provides a new tool to monitor progress in some areas and campaign for change where there are gaps.
Read the full report here.