Rehabilitation in the Western Pacific Region

In the Western Pacific Region, there is a growing need for rehabilitation. It is linked to aging populations, noncommunicable diseases and ongoing threat of diseases and injuries from health emergencies.

Rehabilitation in health systems

Rehabilitation in health systems provides recommendations for Member States and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen and expand the availability of quality rehabilitation services. Currently, there is a significant unmet need for rehabilitation services and it is frequently undervalued in the health system. As populations age and the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases and injuries increases, and the demand for rehabilitation grows, strengthening rehabilitation in health systems becomes ever more paramount.

Rehabilitation in emergencies

Emergencies, particularly sudden-onset disasters and situations of protracted conflict, can result in a surge of people with critical injuries. In such contexts, local health and rehabilitation services may not be able to cope with their needs, and they may suffer from secondary complications of their injuries, due to a lack of access to medical management, medications, and assistive devices. These injuries and complications may result in their experiencing long-term disability. People living with disabilities prior to the emergency are also disproportionately affected in such situations and are known to have particularly high rates of mortality in emergencies.

Regional framework on Action on Community-based Rehabilitation

Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) has been developed and promoted by WHO as a strategy for rehabilitation, equalization of opportunities and social inclusion of persons with disabilities. CBR upholds and demonstrates practical applications of the general principles and common themes on human rights and works towards a paradigm shift from a charity-oriented to a rights-based approach in disability programmes.

Community-based rehabilitation indicators manual

This manual contains indicators capable of capturing the difference CBR makes in the lives of people with disabilities who live in a community where CBR is implemented. The indicators are designed to capture the differences between adults, youth and children with disabilities and those without disabilities in the areas of health, education, social life, livelihood and empowerment. This comparison provides valuable information to CBR managers, policy-makers and donors, which can be used to guide decision making, support advocacy and improve accountability. The manual provides a simple, brief and intuitive guide to selecting appropriate indicators and collecting the data to inform them.

Rehabilitation and disability in the Western Pacific

Rehabilitation in emergencies

Emergency medical teams: minimum technical standards and recommendations for rehabilitation

Data for rehabilitation

Valid, reliable and relevant disability data are essential for evidence-informed disability and rehabilitation policy. Ideally, disability data would be standardized across countries. Standardization of data allows for international comparisons, which in turn facilitates the monitoring of progress in the implementation and effectiveness of policies, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The WHO global disability action plan 2014-2021 requires Member States to strengthen the collection of relevant and internationally comparable data on disability, and support research on disability and related services. This information is important for establishing a complete picture of disability and functioning and to allow governments and stakeholders to identify strategies needed to improve the health and well-being of people with disabilities.

Rehabilitation 2030

In February 2017 WHO hosted Rehabilitation 2030: a call for action, which brought together over 200 rehabilitation experts from 46 different countries. The meeting highlighted the urgent need to address the profound unmet needs for rehabilitation around the world, and the necessity of rehabilitation in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.

Community-based Rehabilitation

Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) was initiated by WHO following the Declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978 in an effort to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families; meet their basic needs; and ensure their inclusion and participation. While initially a strategy to increase access to rehabilitation services in resource-constrained settings, CBR is now a multisectoral approach working to improve the equalization of opportunities and social inclusion of people with disabilities while combating the perpetual cycle of poverty and disability. CBR is implemented through the combined efforts of people with disabilities, their families and communities, and relevant government and non-government health, education, vocational, social and other services.

News and events

Pacific CBR Forum

2018 July (Nadi, Fiji)

Member State Consultation on Regional Action Plan for Rehabilitation

April-June 2018 (Manila, Philippines)

Expert Meeting on the Regional Action Plan for Rehabilitation and Disability

6-8 March 2018 (Manila, Philippines)

Contact us

Disabilities and Rehabilitation
Division of NCD and Health through the Life-Course
World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Western Pacific Region
P.O. Box 2932 1000 Manila Philippines