The Unnecessary Cost of Poverty

Preventable Impairment

Today more than one billion people experience a physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment. Of these, nearly 80% live in developing countries. The challenges and obstacles faced by people living with a disability are immense but none are greater than the discrimination, marginalisation and neglect to which people with a disability are subjected.  Their disability comes not from their impairment but from society.  The impact of this is little or no access to education, health services, and employment opportunities and often being excluded from decision making in their communities. 

There is a vicious cycle of disability and poverty.  Given 15% of all people have an impairment, tackling poverty without disability inclusion will mean we don’t include some of the poorest, most marginalised and vulnerable in the world.  Most astonishingly, one third of people with a disability are children, two thirds of whom have preventable impairments. 

Each year 500,000 children go blind from Vitamin A deficiency with more than half of these children dying within a year – a stark reality indeed. One in 230 Cambodians has one or more amputations, primarily caused by land mines.  Many cases of impairments such as fistula, brain damage and cerebral palsy are caused before or during birth, something that could be addressed through access to health information, pre and post natal care.
So are there achievable and sustainable solutions for preventing impairments and supporting people living with a disability? Is it a community level issue to implement such projects or should the government and international community play a role? And how can we, as Australians, help to tackle the causes of preventable disability while also supporting those who are most vulnerable in today’s world?

How can we help people living with an impairment take their rightful place in the community? 
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  • Venue Perth Town Hall,
  • Date & time 24/09/2013 6:00:00 PM 6:00pm - 7:30pm


Preventable Impairment: The Unnecessary Cost of Poverty