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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 406-407
Enhancing the involvement of stakeholders in developing the list of assistive products for the disabled and the elderly


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication14-Nov-2016
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Enhancing the involvement of stakeholders in developing the list of assistive products for the disabled and the elderly. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:406-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Enhancing the involvement of stakeholders in developing the list of assistive products for the disabled and the elderly. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2016 [cited 2017 Mar 28];9:406-7. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2016/9/6/406/193941
Dear Sir,

Though, the right for health permits each and every individual to attain optimal heath standards, it is quite difficult for vulnerable sections of the community.[1] The current global estimates suggest that in excess of 1 billion people have some form of disability; with almost 190 million people have significant difficulties in routine functioning.[2] Further, even the number of elderly people accounts for around 900 million across the world, who are again limited in making various lifestyle choices due to the various health related restrictions imposed on them.[1],[2]

Regardless of the settings, every individual wish to be independent and live life on their own terms, and this can be made possible through assistive technology and devices depending on the nature of disability or limitation.[3] The recent estimates revealed that overall 1 billion people (viz., disabled and/or elderly) need assistive technologies to lead a fuller life, and the number of beneficiaries is expected to rise to 2 billion by the year 2050.[3],[4]

Moreover, these assistive technologies and practical tools have acquired a status of being indispensable as gradually the life expectancy of people in heterogeneous settings has improved due to better health care and welfare measures.[1],[2],[3] However, the ground reality is that such tools are not readily available in all the settings as almost 90% of the people are totally devoid of them either because of lack of availability/awareness or due to the high associated costs.[4]

In order to bridge the existing gap on a priority basis, the World Health Organization has initiated a global survey to obtain views about which assistive devices/technologies are most necessary and beneficial for the people.[4] The ultimate aim of this survey is to identify 50 such priority products in a specific nation and then share them with the policy makers, so that the concerned government officials can take appropriate measures to improve the access to the 50 priority, high-quality, and affordable assistive products, and thereby, improve the living standards of people.[4] Furthermore, the ultimate vision is to develop a list of essential assistive products and enhance the access to assistive technologies for 1 billion people in today's date, and to upscale them and reach to 1.5 billion by the year 2030.[4]

The survey has been released in 50 most common languages spoken worldwide and is targeted toward all the stakeholders (viz., current or potential users, their families, and local organizations).[4],[5] As no sustained benefits can be obtained without involving the views of clients, the survey has been targeted toward them.[5] Broadly, the survey document has divided assistive technologies under 6 major headings comprising 100 such tools/technologies, of which 50 have to be marked by the target population while filling the form.[4] These major sections are mobility (32 products), vision (18 products), hearing (14 products), communication (8 products), cognition (18 products), and environment (10 products).[4]

To conclude, these assistive technologies and devices are not just device, but life-saving tools, and effective options to enable and empower disabled people to live more autonomously and optimally participate in the community.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
Gramstad A, Storli SL, Hamran T. Exploring the meaning of a new assistive technology device for older individuals. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol 2014;9:493-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Disability and health-Fact sheet No 352; 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs352/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Feb 14].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Layton N. Problems, policies and politics: Making the case for better assistive technology provision in Australia. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol 2015;10:240-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Global survey for Priority Assistive Products List (APL); 2016. Available from: http://who.int/phi/implementation/assistive_technology/global_survey-apl/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Feb 14].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Williamson T, Kenney L, Barker AT, Cooper G, Good T, Healey J, et al. Enhancing public involvement in assistive technology design research. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol 2015;10:258-65.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, 3rd Floor, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.193941

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