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Disabil Rehabil. 2016 Sep;38(18):1757-64. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1107765. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Assessing health and rehabilitation needs of people with disabilities in Cameroon and India.

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a International Centre for Evidence in Disability , London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine , London , UK ;
b Indian Institute of Public Health , Hyderabad , India ;
c Sightsavers International , Yaounde , Cameroon.



To assess the association between disability and serious health problems, and the access and uptake of health and rehabilitation services in Cameroon and India.


We undertook a population-based case-control study, nested within a survey in Fundong Health District, North West Cameroon (August-October 2013) and in Mahbubnagar District, Telangana State, India (February-April 2014). Disability was defined as the presence of self-reported difficulties in functioning or clinical impairments. One control without disability was selected per case, matched by age, gender and cluster. Information was collected using structured questionnaires on: socioeconomic status, health, access to health services and rehabilitation.


Cases with disability were significantly more likely to report a serious health problem in the last year compared to controls in both India (OR = 3.2, 95% CI 2.1-4.8) and Cameroon (OR = 1.9, 1.4-2.7). The vast majority of people sought care when seriously ill, and this did not vary between cases and controls. Awareness and use of rehabilitation services was extremely low in both Cameroon and India.


Further focus is needed to improve awareness of rehabilitation services among people with disabilities in India and Cameroon to ensure that their rights are fulfilled and to achieve the goal of Universal Health Coverage. Implications for Rehabilitation People with and without disabilities equally seek health care in India and Cameroon. However, people with disabilities experience more frequent serious health problems than people without. Extremely few people with disabilities were aware of rehabilitation services despite their existence in the study settings.


Assessment; Cameroon; India; disability; health needs; low-middle income countries

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