This month, like many of you, we are dealing with cuts to our FCDO-funded projects. It is harder to protest when so many countries in the Global South are having their vital projects and supports reduced or taken away. To quote Baroness Sugg “… there is never a good time to cut aid for live saving water & sanitation, but the middle of the worst pandemic for 100 years must be one of the worst.” Research and evidence generation remain critical at this time, as they help to target, develop and test development interventions to allow them to have the greatest impact. The FCDO and ODA cuts will greatly reduce the UK’s role in global research, not least at LSHTM which has been at the fore-front of so many activities to control COVID-19. Nevertheless, we remain grateful to the continued support of FCDO, and its ongoing commitment to disability.
We are continuing to progress our research, despite the difficult times. Our second round of data collection in the UK is complete to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the lives of disabled people, and our first paper is in press. We are supporting analyses of the risk of COVID-19 mortality among disabled people broadly, and people learning disability specifically, in the UK. In case you missed it, we gave a seminar last week summarising the key findings – watch it here. We are also investigating the impact of COVID-19 in the lives of disabled people in Zambia, Uganda, Ghana, India, Bangladesh, and among Syrian refugees. In Zimbabwe, our in-depth study was launched last week, which will gather data to help plan how to build back better health systems after COVID-19.
In other news, our MOOC (free online course) on Global Disability Research and Evidence starts this week! Still time to sign up and join – here. We are also working to diversify our funding partners. We are grateful, for instance, to the Chowens for their support of our Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment Courses, as well as to all our ongoing supporters.
Read on, to learn about our papers, seminars and other news.
With best wishes,
Hannah and Tom
International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Follow us on Twitter - @ICED_LSHTM.
PENDA is a major ICED project, funded by FCDO, aiming to increase evidence to support disability inclusive development. We will focus on developing people, knowledge and tools.
Some updates on PENDA this month...
- Fieldwork is poised to start by our partner icddr-b on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Hygiene and Behaviour Change Consortium response to COVID-19, funded by FCDO and Unilever.
- Check out the new evidence briefs on the Disability Evidence Portal! New ones on overcoming barriers to accessing rehabilitation and the benefits of inclusive education for children without disabilities.
New publications this month from our group...
Dorothy Boggs published two papers that will contribute towards her PhD. First, the results of a survey of musculoskeletal impairment among Syrian refugees living in Turkey, published in Conflict and Health. One in nine people screened had a musculoskeletal impairment, despite the young age of the sample, and there was a high unmet need for services and assistive products. In the second paper, published in Global Health Action, she argues for the need for “ Shifting the focus to functioning: essential for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3, inclusive Universal Health Coverage and supporting COVID-19 survivors”. Separately, Dorothy also co-authored a range of papers this month from her previous role in a birth cohort – well done Dorothy!
Hannah Kuper and Tom Shakespeare published a commentary to a paper in Lancet Public Health, considering “Are older people with disabilities neglected in the COVID-19 pandemic?" and a letter in the BMJ arguing that “Low numbers of disabled doctors mean potential loss of insightful care for everyone”. Two disabled doctors responded with thoughtful comments to our letter and I would encourage you to read those also. Hannah Kuper also co-authored a National Accessibility Audit of Primary Health Care Facilities in Brazil, the first of its kind, to consider whether people with disabilities are being denied their right to health (IJERPH).
Upcoming Seminars and Events by LSHTM
You can find all our previous seminars (including the audio recordings and slides) here.
Did you miss the seminar by Tom Shakespeare and Hannah Kuper on “Disabled people in the UK and the impact of COVID-19”? Still time to watch it here.
Tuesday 18th May, 13:00-14:00. Film showing and panel discussion of "Restoring Dignity; a journey with Noma survivors".
Thursday 27th May, 13:00-14:15. Ending a vicious cycle: how can girls have better periods? Jane Wilbur, ICED. The talk will focus on menstrual hygiene for people living with disabilities in Nepal.
Tuesday 15th June, time TBD. Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the World Report on Disability, with talks by
Other things of interest
Special issues seeking papers
New COVID-19 and disability resources
New paper and infographic. from LSE analysing how and why external organisations invest in mental health in low- and middle-income countries, highlighting challenges and opportunities, and offering policy recommendations. There is a separate policy tool which provides a snapshot of why and how external organisations can invest in mental health in low- and middle-income countries.
Have you seen this?
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution was nominated for an Oscar this year. It’s an amazing documentary about how a camp for disabled young people in USA in the 1970s inspired a revolution in disability rights. Here is the trailer…. And you can watch the full film here.