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Africa and Asia: Disability

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 4071, tabled on 19 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure access to healthcare for people with disabilities in (a) Africa and (b) Asia.

Answered on

28 May 2021

The UK is committed to ensuring people with disabilities globally are provided with the same access to health services as people without disabilities where possible. The pandemic has shown us that people with disabilities are disproportionately affected in crisis, so it is critical health systems are disability inclusive. The UK is supporting several countries in Asia and Africa, for example, to ensure COVID-19 public health messages are disability-responsive. In Nigeria alone this has reached at least 2.7 million people living with a disability. The UK is also helping people with disabilities access sexual health services. In 2019-2020 this resulted in a quadrupling of health visits by people with disabilities.

In January this government supported a new World Health Organisation resolution on the "the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities". If adopted, the resolution will help to ensure that global health responses, including in Africa and Asia, provide quality responses to people with disabilities. Later this year we will also launch the enhanced Disability Inclusion Strategy which will include a sharper focus on global health.