On Disability

On Disability

The World Health Organization (WHO) constitution states:
“The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”

There are 600 million people in the world living with a disability; 80%, most of whom are children, live in the developing world.  In a country where a family may live on one dollar a day, people rely on their physical abilities to survive.  A disability can literally mean death if one cannot grow crops, raise animals, or carry water.  Persons with disability are typically among the very poorest; they experience poverty more intensely and have fewer opportunities to escape poverty than non-disabled people.

Factors contributing to poverty are intricately linked to disability; persons with disabilities typically lack access to health and education, clean water and sanitation, have poor housing and may live in over-crowded, unsanitary and unsafe areas. The World Health Organization estimates that only 2% of people with disabilities in developing countries have access to rehabilitation and appropriate basic services. What services are available currently do not meet the needs. As a result, there are over 20 million people in the world who need a wheelchair and do not have one. It has been reported that 98% of children with a disability in the developing world do not get to go to school, and the death rates for a child with a disability reach as high as 80%.

In Haiti it is estimated* that 800,000 people live with disabilities. Let us help you… help at least one… to a better life. Healing Hands for Haiti is dedicated to fostering rehabilitation services and educational programs for adults and children with physical disabilities in Haiti. We believe that the best way to serve the people of Haiti is to enable them to help themselves. Recognizing the value of all persons in society, and the vital importance of rehabilitation efforts in the developing world, Healing Hands for Haiti volunteers dedicate their expertise and energy to work towards the development of sustainable rehabilitation programs throughout Haiti. In 2010 we are beginning construction of Haiti’s first Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute.

*Pan American Health Organization, ‘Health in the Americas, 1998 Edition, Volume II’


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