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Disabil Rehabil. 1998 Feb;20(2):66-73.

Community-based rehabilitation and stigma management by physically disabled people in Ghana.

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  • 1Department of Health and Social Science, Harstad College, Norway.


Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) has been recommended by the World Health Organization as an antidote to the poor coverage of rehabilitation facilities in the developing countries. This attempt is to make it possible for disabled people to receive the help they need to be able to go about their daily activities aided by trained personnel from their own communities. Research has however indicated that many disabled people do not patronize rehabilitation programmes. Many who give it a try leave dissatisfied. Most of the disabled people will rather migrate to the cities to beg. Many reasons, including economic and location of rehabilitation centres in the cities, have been assigned for this trend of affairs. This paper however sees the problem as attempts by disabled people and their families to manage 'felt' and 'enacted' stigma. The paper seeks to question the importance of Community-Based Rehabilitation, since experienced and perceived stigma seem to be more pronounced in the rural areas, and begging is often seen as the fastest way to gain some independence, reduce stigma and avoid stigmatized environments.

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