Handicap International, the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, the World Federation of Occupational Therapy are releasing today 7 factsheets on the added value of rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation has a clear and important role, providing a continuity of care within a health system that goes beyond prevention, diagnosis or treatment of illness but also includes care and support, participation and quality of life. However, rehabilitation as a concept is little understood by the health sector and often perceived as a ‘luxury’ service in contexts where even the most basic health services are lacking.
These factsheets are aimed at improving the awareness and understanding of the role that rehabilitation plays, or can play, in global health, its current trends and its likely trends in the future. They have been designed to provide a broad overview of the role of rehabilitation in global health, and are focusing on the areas of expertise gained by Handicap International in the implementation of rehabilitation programs in many of the world’s poorest, disaster and conflict affected countries:
- maternal health,
- child health,
- cardiovascular diseases,
- And road traffic injuries.
These factsheets can be used as a package or on a stand-alone basis. Each factsheet is divided in different sections, including: definition of the health condition or cross-cutting issue, key facts, main stakeholders, link to impairments or disability, role of rehabilitation, supporting guidelines or global policy frameworks and a case study.
What is rehabilitation?
Physical and functional rehabilitation aims to restore, compensate, prevent or slow deterioration in functioning (sensory, physical, intellectual, mental, cognitive, or social) to help individuals to reach their optimal levels. It places the person at the center and uses a broad range of therapeutic measures including exercise, provision of assistive technologies (e.g. hearing aids, wheelchairs, prosthetics & orthotics), adaptation of the environment to eliminate barriers (physical barriers; financial barriers: e.g. lack of funding mechanism; geographical barriers: e.g. Lack of decentralized services; resource barriers: e.g.. Lack of assistive devices or trained personnel; institutional barriers: e.g.. Lack of relevant standards and policies, etc). Rehabilitation services may be found in a variety of health care settings, from hospitals to community.
Read the factsheets:
Introduction to the rehabilitation factsheets
Maternal health and rehabilitation
Child health and rehabilitation
Diabetes and rehabilitation
Cardiovascular diseases and rehabilitation
HIV/AIDS and rehabilitation
Road traffic injuries and rehabilitation