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Special report

World Health Organization Global Disability Action Plan: The Mongolian Perspective

Fary Khan, Bhasker Amatya, Baljnnyam Avirmed, Yoon Kyoung Yi, Batchimeg Shirmen, Geoff Abbott, Mary P. Galea
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, 34-54 Poplar Road, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia. E-mail: fary.khan@mh.org.au

DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2207

Abstract

Objective: To provide an update on disability and rehabilitation in Mongolia, and to identify potential barriers and facilitators for implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Disability Action Plan (GDAP).
Methods: A 4-member rehabilitation team from the Royal Melbourne Hospital conducted an intensive 6-day workshop at the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences, for local healthcare professionals (n = 77) from medical rehabilitation facilities (urban/rural, public/private) and non-governmental organizations. A modified Delphi method (interactive sessions, consensus agreement) identified challenges for rehabilitation service provision and disability education and attitudes, using GDAP objectives.
Results: The GDAP summary actions were considered useful for clinicians, policy-makers, government and persons with disabilities. The main challenges identified were: limited knowledge of disability services and rehabilitation within healthcare sectors; lack of coordination between sectors; geo-topographical issues; limited skilled workforces; lack of disability data, guidelines and accreditation standards; poor legislation and political commitment. The facilitators were: strong leadership; advocacy of disability-inclusive development; investment in local infrastructure/human resources; opportunities for coordination and partnerships between the healthcare sector and other stakeholders; research opportunities; and dissemination of information.
Conclusion: Disability and rehabilitation is an emerging priority in Mongolia to address the rights and needs of persons with disabilities. The GDAP provides guidance to facilitate access and strengthen rehabilitation services.

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