WHO and NHS to survey disabled persons after Ramazan: report

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry for National Health Services (NHS) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have decided to survey disabled persons to prepare an assessment pertaining to the need for assistive technology in Pakistan, reported a local media outlet.

The aim of the survey is to find out how many people in the country need assistive devices. Additionally, the survey is scheduled to start after Ramazan and conclude within two months.

There are at least 30 million disabled people in Pakistan, according to WHO.

NHS Director General (DG) Dr Asad Hafeez said, “It has been decided that a national survey will be held in which there will be a detailed questionnaire to assess how many people with disabilities are in the country and what kind of devices do they need.”

Hafeez hoped that the World Health Assembly (WHA) would pass a resolution that all disabled people got access to assistive technology.

“The survey will help us in planning and policy-making as Pakistan is the leading country of the region and has been pushing the international community to ensure access to assistive technology,” added Hafeez.

A list that details 50 assistive devices has been prepared and the devices will be available in Pakistan, the DG hoped.

WHO Technical Advisor Dr Maryam Mallick said, “Wheelchairs in Pakistan are considered as the basic assistive devices and they are not made according to each person’s specifications.”

“States will be responsible for providing disabled people with assistive technology,” she added.