01/12/2019, 05.51
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More than 6 million Vietnamese are disabled

About 13 per cent of the Vietnamese population, or almost 12 million people, live in households with disabled members. As few as 2.3 per cent of disabled people have access to rehabilitation services in case of illness or accident. Only 2 per cent of the country’s primary and secondary schools meet the needs of disabled pupils.

Hanoi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Vietnamese with disabilities number about 6.2 million or 2 per cent of the population over the age of two, this according to a national survey released yesterday by the General Statistics Office conducted with the technical support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The survey, which ran for two years in 2016 and 2017, is the first of its kind carried out on such a large scale using international tools, including one specially designed by UNICEF and the Washington Group on Disability Statistics to examine child functioning.

The findings indicate that 13 per cent of Vietnam’s population, or close to 12 million people, lived in households with disabled members, a rate expected to rise as the population ages. Only 2.3 per cent of them have access to rehabilitation services when sick or injured.

School attendance rates for children with disabilities, particularly at higher levels of education, were lower than that of able-bodied children.

At the secondary level, less than one third of children with disabilities went to school at the right age, compared to the proportion of two-thirds among able-bodied kids.

Only 2 per cent of primary and secondary schools in the country are built to meet the needs of pupils with disabilities, whilst only one school in seven has an educator trained to teach disabled students.

The Vietnamese Church has always been committed to helping the disabled, both adults and children, and is responsible for various initiatives to this end in every diocese and parish.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), one of the most active Catholic organisations, helps more than 6,500 children with disabilities to access educational and health services.

CRS partners with local groups to offer direct assistance to 300 survivors of landmine explosions as well as provide medical care, rehabilitation, social support services and livelihood to another 5,700 survivors.

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