MOH News
The Kingdom Celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
03 December 2012
Under the theme: “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2012 is to be kicked off today 19/1/1434, corresponding to 3/12/2012, with the goal of improving the life of the disabled persons. This is due to the efforts made at the national level and both regional and international ones, as well as raising awareness with the aspects and consequences of this issue.
In a report prepared by the MOH's Media Information and Health Awareness Center in this regard, disability is defined as the injury with a total or partial insufficiency, permanently or for a long period of age, in one of the physical, sensory, mental, communicative, educational, or psychological capacities. It leads to the inability of meeting the normal life requirements from the disabled person, and depending on others to meet them. Or they could need a specific instrument requiring training or special rehabilitation in order to use it properly. Thus, there is almost one disabled person among every ten persons in the world. The studies conducted recently underline that the disabled persons in the world constitute a proportion amounting to as much as 20% of the persons living in poor conditions in the developing countries at most.
In the meantime, the Media Information and Health Awareness Center's report pointed out that the state's systems in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have approved comprehensive rights for this segment of community, and provided the means that support them to attain their rights. This is in order to ensure for them the decent life and the ability to integrate in all the community's segments, through rehabilitating them and tending to their health. In addition, they facilitated for them all the means that enable them to live with their families, and presented the free aids and facilitations that take their needs into consideration. Also, it gave them the priority in the governmental sectors over other healthy people.
It is worthwhile to mention that the Ministry of Health (MOH) carries out, through its health facilities spread in all the Kingdom's regions, the National Program for Newborn Early Examination, in order to limit disability. This is in cooperation with Prince Salman Center for Disability Research. Through this Program, more than 586,000 newborn samples have been examined; 544 cases have been diagnosed with disability so far. Hence, this program is one of the care and diagnostic, curative services, and medical follow-up aspects, provided by the Ministry of Health (MOH) since the first moments of life, directly past birth-giving. It is even before that through providing care to the pregnant mother and their fetus during the pregnancy stages.
Moreover, the Ministry of Health (MOH) provided fully-fledged hospitals, centers, and sections specialized in medical rehabilitation in all the Kingdom's regions, and operating in line with the best international measures applied at centers of such-like. It also provided physical therapy services at all its hospitals to provide the prestigious, specialized rehabilitative services. This is with the goal of reducing the disability rate to its lowest recognized worldwide; hence, making the disabled reach the highest level of independence in their daily life, as much as possible, through using  the medical means and kinetic, psychological, social treatment, prostheses,  and supportive devices. This is in order to turn them into a productive member in community.
Further, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has designated a general department meant for medical rehabilitation, going by the name of Medical Rehabilitation General Department. This is in order to reduce disability and prevent it through prevention and spreading the rehabilitative services across the Kingdom. As such, the MOH is interested in facilitating the access to the medical rehabilitation services with regard to the people with disabilities, disability cases, and disability resulting from diseases, professional and traffic accidents.
And within the framework of expansion with regard to these specialized services, the Ministry of Health (MOH), in the past three years, opened 191 physical therapy sections, 33 occupational therapy sections and 7 sections for hearing and speech problems, in addition to inaugurating 18 prosthetic and orthotic units. Currently, many projects in this field are being established, awarded, and launched.

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