The new Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) guidelines has given special emphasis to HIV/AIDS , emergency crisis situations and persons with mental illnesses. The draft guidelines were developed by the World Health Organization in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Education Scientific Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
"Emergency situations such as accidents, natural and man-made disasters create a new set of persons with disabilities whose needs have to be addressed and CBR can play a major role in this endeavor. Moreover, it was noticed that in earlier rehabilitation programmes for people in crisis situations, sustainability was poor and victims had to fend for themselves. CBR is plays an important role in inclusion of persons with mental illness and HIV/AIDS," quoted Chapal Khasnabis, Technical Officer, Disability and Rehabilitation, Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention, WHO, Geneva.
According to the CBR guidelines, persons with disabilities and their families, as well as their empowerment through the provision of basic needs are to be given utmost attention. Only then will poverty be reduced , added Khasnabis.
"The emphasis is on creating opportunities where persons with disabilities can have access to health, education and livelihood and to ensure the development of multi-sectoral linkages for a community based and inclusive development of persons with disabilities.
"That is why WHO is involving governments and voluntary organizations apart from persons with disabilities in a major way in developing the CBR guidelines", Khasnabis informed.
The WHO has arranged 29 workshops in different parts of the world to validate the guidelines and to get feedback from implementers on efficacy and areas for improvement.
The guidelines have been drafted by over 150 experts from across the world , including 10 from India .