series event

Is Universal Health Coverage achievable without a focus on disability? A case study from Zimbabwe in the time of COVID-19

Join the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED) to mark Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC), as we discuss the vital importance of ensuring people with disabilities are included in efforts to achieve UHC.  

Universal Health Coverage Day logo - graphic includes a colourful umbrella with a text saying "Universal Health Coverage Day"

There are at least one billion people with disabilities globally. On average, people with disabilities are more likely to have poor health, yet face a range of barriers in accessing healthcare services. Consequently, health outcomes are often worse and mortality rates higher for this group. This pattern has also been observed with respect to COVID-19.  

This seminar will describe the link between disability and poor health access and why this provides a threat to the achievement of UHC. We will give an overview of a recent study conducted in Zimbabwe, which explored:  

  1. Whether the health system is disability-inclusive;  
  2. What improvements may be needed; and  
  3. Particular vulnerabilities people with disabilities experienced during the COVID-19 epidemic. 


Professor Hannah Kuper, LSHTM   

Professor Hannah Kuper is co-Director of ICED and is co-founder of the Missing Billion Initiative, which focuses on improving access to healthcare for people with disabilities globally.  

Dr Tracey Smythe, LSHTM  

Dr Tracey Smythe is an Assistant Professor at ICED and a paediatric physiotherapist from Zimbabwe. Alongside the project in Zimbabwe, she has developed parent group interventions for children with developmental disabilities, called the Ubuntu programme.  

Professor Simbarashe Rusakaniko, Zimbabwe AIDS Prevention Programme Trust (ZAPP)

Professor Rusakaniko is the Director of ZAPP. ZAPP was formulated as a research arm of Community Medicine of the University of Zimbabwe and has been a leading research and training institute in Public health in Southern Africa since 1993.

Tapiwanashe Kujinga, Pan-African Treatment Access Movement (PATAM)

Tapiwa Kujinga is a qualified attorney and the Director of PATAM, which was formed in 2002 to advocate for HIV treatment access. It also undertakes operational research and capacity strengthening for other civil society organisations. PATAM member organisations include people living with disabilities and it has experience in advocating for the implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and providing training on disability-inclusion.

Please note that the recording link will be listed on this page when available


Follow webinar link. Free and open to all. No registration required.


LSHTM International Centre for Evidence in Disability