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Bangladesh: Mobilizing support for people with disabilities

03-12-2013 News Release 13/214

Dhaka (CRP & ICRC) – On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are organizing a rally, a sports competition, a presentation of success stories and a discussion session at the CRP in Savar. In addition, to raise awareness of the problems faced by the disabled and to mobilize support for their dignity, well-being and social inclusion, a human chain will be formed by the patients, staff and volunteers of the CRP and ICRC on the Dhaka-Aricha highway.

According to the World Health Organization, around 15 per cent of the world's population – over a thousand million people – live with a disability. Of these, about 80 per cent live in developing countries. Disabled people are often unable to obtain health care, education, employment, transport, information or technology. Therefore, an accessible and sustainable physical rehabilitation service, involving therapy, the fitting of artificial limbs and the provision of walking aids and wheelchairs, is indispensable for the successful reintegration of disabled people into society.

"Since its inception in 1979, the CRP has been working to promote an environment in which any disabled person will have equal access to health, rehabilitation, education, employment, the physical environment and information," said Dr Valerie Ann Taylor, founder and coordinator of the CRP. "In Bangladesh, about 10 per cent of the population live with a disability. The sufferings and challenges faced by these people are often not addressed within general development programmes, largely owing to a scarcity of resources, a negative general perception and a lack of knowledge and understanding of how to address their needs."

The ICRC has been providing physical rehabilitation services for over 30 years in more than 40 countries. In Bangladesh, it is supporting the CRP in its efforts to enhance services for the neediest people with physical disabilities by providing training and making available raw materials and high-quality appliances. "Long-term commitment and support are needed to assist people. The ICRC's physical rehabilitation programme helps people with disabilities reach their full potential," said Christine Cipolla, head of the ICRC's Bangladesh delegation.

To mark this year's International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the ICRC is supporting initiatives in many countries to raise awareness and promote integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

For further information, please contact:
Masud Rana, CRP, tel: +88 01740951989
Darko Jordanov, ICRC Dhaka, tel: +88 0171 413 38 58
Onchita Shadman, ICRC Dhaka, tel: +88 0175 562 14 56