ISLAMABAD, Nov 09 (APP): First Lady Samina Alvi on Thursday stressing the importance of rehabilitation services said their scope need to be extended to differently-abled persons.
She was speaking at the closing ceremony of the preparation of the Strategic Action Plans for the promotion of rehabilitation services in Pakistan.
The five-year comprehensive and inclusive action plan is being developed by the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, Provincial Health Departments, World Health Organization, and ReLaB-HS at the levels of federal and provincial governments, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Begum Alvi said rehabilitation services play an important role in health sector and help the people, return to normal lives who have suffered illness, accident or disability.
She mentioned that although the scope of rehabilitation services was not limited to persons with disabilities, however could be extended to accomodate them.
These services, she said, include paying attention to speech and occupational therapy and vocational rehabilitation, including the provision of assistive technology.
She said differently-abled people constituted 10 to 12 percent of the country’s population and could play a positive role in society if provided with assistive technology, rehabilitation services and access to mobility.
She emphasized raising awareness in the society to mainstream the differently-abled persons and end their deprivation by providing them equal rights and services.
Samina Alvi termed disability a global public health issue, which she said, required a positive approach by the society to accommodate such people through skilled education and job opportunities.
She called for a national campaign to make aware the differently-abled persons and their parents about the special job quota at the federal and provincial levels.
She also urged the private sector to provide jobs to such people to make them useful members of the society.
Head of Mission WHO Dr Palitha Mahipala appreciated the First Lady for spearheading national awareness campaigns on breast cancer, and rights of persons with disabilities.
He emphasised the need for improving people’s access to rehabilitation services and embedding them into the healthcare system for the welfare of people. He said that every person needed rehabilitation services to avoid further complications and recovering quickly after treatment.
Technical Advisor of WHO Pauline Kleinitz informed the audience that rehabilitation optimises function and helps people perform daily activities besides improving the quality of life. She said that as per estimates, there are 2.4 billion people or one-third people with health conditions that could benefit from rehabilitation.
She said that WHO was providing necessary advice and assistance to improve the availability of rehabilitation services to fulfill the unmet needs all around the world especially in countries like Pakistan.
DG Health Dr Baseer Achakzai, Global Coordinator of ReLab-HS and Dr Zia Dawar also addressed the occasion. The representatives of WHO, and public health professionals from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and AJK attended the consultative session.