Last month, we launched our report “The Missing Billion; Access to health services for 1 billion people with disabilities”, which was written with a range of partners. This paper sets out why people with disabilities may be more vulnerable to poor health and face difficulties accessing healthcare services. We describe how without a focus on this group we will fail to meet the SDG targets and to realise the right to health of people with disabilities. I have also described these findings in a short blog. It was really exciting that this report was shared widely and picked up by the Lancet, who wrote an editorial on “Prioritising Disability in Universal Health Coverage”. Please help us share the report, and do give feedback on what you thought and what may be next steps.
Registration is still open for our Conference at LSHTM on November 5-6, 2019 on “Evidence in Disability Inclusive Development”. The event will be co-hosted by us with Sightsavers, in partnership with CBM, Action for Disability and Development, and Help Age International. We can only accept 200 participants so do reserve your place soon!
Congratulations to Dorothy Boggs and David Musenda who passed their upgrades this month and so are well on their way to PhD success. Dorothy’s PhD will focus on developing a survey tool to estimate the population need for assistive technologies. David will be working in Malawi to investigate how to improve parental support for the education of children with disabilities. Read more about David, and his project, in the “Focus on” section.
And please read on for more news on our projects, events and publications!
International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Follow us on Twitter - @ICED_LSHTM.
PENDA is a major new ICED project, funded by DFID, aiming to increase evidence to support disability inclusive development. We will focus on developing people, knowledge and tools.
Some updates on PENDA this month:
People: We are almost ready to start recruiting for our PhD programme for people with disabilities from African Countries. We will circulate the advert later this summer – please share far and wide! Knowledge: Our background paper is now “live”, explaining our approach to disability inclusion and evaluation. Tom Shakespeare has been working with DFID as a special advisor on their report: “DFID’s work on disability-inclusive development". We have started to make plans to develop an Evidence Portal, where we will display evidence related to disability-inclusive development in a format that is useful for policy and decision makers. We are getting ready for our conference in November! Tools: We are reviewing tools available to measure participation of people with disabilities, and accessibility of infrastructure, to be used throughout our projects.
Tom Shakespeare and colleagues published “Perspectives on ICD-11 to understand and improve mental health diagnosis using expertise by experience (INCLUDE Study): an international qualitative study” in Lancet Psychiatry this month. The findings indicated that an accessible lay language version of the ICD-11 could be beneficial for service users and their supporters.
Tess Bright’s study, published in BMJ Open, shows the large inequality in the distribution of ear, nose and throat specialists in 15 Latin American countries. There was a more than 30-fold difference in the number of ENTs/million population across the included studies, and where these professionals were available they were mostly situated in the capital areas.
Tom Shakespeare and colleagues published “Social participation and inclusion of ex-combatants with disabilities in Colombia” in disability and the Global South. The paper highlights the additional issues facing ex-combatants with disabilities, and how this makes the process of reintegration into the community even more challenging.
Antony Duttine and colleagues published the protocol paper “Development and assessment of the feasibility of a Zika family support programme.” in Wellcome Open. This paper describes how the Juntos parent support programme was developed and assessed for feasibility.
Islay Mactaggart and colleagues published “Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness: looking back, looking forward.” In the British Journal of Ophthalmology. RAAB has been used in more than 300 surveys, and this paper considers why it has been successful and what changes are need to make sure that it stays relevant and widely used.
Focus On...David (John) Musendo
With John as my first name on paper, I am better known as David (my second of a few names!). Originally from Zimbabwe, I am a PhD student in ICED at the LSHTM. I joined the School in 2017 but only got to settle on my research topic in October 2018 (long story!). I have a background in teaching, training and conducting programme evaluations, especially across Africa. I love cycling.
What project am I working on? My research project is focused on developing and assessing the acceptability and feasibility of a parent level intervention aimed at improving inclusive education for school-based children with disabilities in mainstream schools in Northern Malawi.
Why is this important? Children with disabilities have unique needs, and parental involvement is essential as a major strategy to meet the educational needs of these children. However, there is a gap in knowledge and evidence on effective parent-level programmes supporting children with disabilities in low income settings. Much of the evidence is from high income countries, where setting, resources, personal capacities and understandings of implementing programmes are very different.
Right now I … Just completed my upgrading process in the last week of July 2019. This was preceded by an in-depth scoping of relevant literature as well as carrying out field data collection in Nkhata Bay district, Northern Malawi. All field data has been transcribed and I am now focusing on analysing the data in preparation for my first publication. I am using the Behaviour Change Framework in the development of the project. As far as I am aware, that is new ground for the model in Africa, especially in Malawi. That is what makes the whole learning process absolutely exciting.
- August 29, 5:15-6:30pm, Manson Lecture Theatre, LSHTM. Summer Screening: "The Little Girl Who Sold The Sun".
- September 16, 1-2 p.m. at LSHTM. Shanthi Ameratunga, University of Auckland. Disability-inclusive transport: Leaving no one behind in the Age of Active Travel.
- October 29, 1-2 p.m. Various speakers. Why to include disability in your study and how to do it?
- November, 5-6, 2019. Conference on Evidence in Disability Inclusive Development. LSHTM December 3, 6 p.m. Range of speakers, chaired by Tom Shakespeare. Dementia as a disability: implications for collaborative research projects
You can find all our previous seminars (including the audio recordings and slides) here.