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The Missing Billion: Access To Health Services For 1 Billion People With Disabilities

A young boy on the left hold a mother figures hand; a young girl with crutches dressed in floral and pink in the center; a young man with two canes standing and smiling.

Around the world, there are one billion people who live with disabilities. Currently, the global health community is working toward two, ambitious goals for 2030; (1) the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, and (2) the World Health Organization’s target to ensure one billion more people benefit from Universal Health Care (UHC), where they are protected from health emergencies and enjoying better health and well-being. The global health community has committed to leave no one behind and reach the unreached through these global efforts. Through Special Olympics health work, we know that people with intellectual disabilities often face higher healthcare needs, more barriers to accessing services, and less health coverage, resulting in worse health conditions. Therefore, in order to reach these ambitious global targets of UHC and SDG 3, people with disabilities must be reached and targeted.

Special Olympics supported the development of a critical report “The Mission Billion: Access to Health Services for 1 Billion People with Disabilities” to address this point.

The report was a collaboration between the International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Office of the WHO Ambassador for Global Strategies, Leonard Cheshire and The UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Community Health Impact Coalition, ATscale, The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Partners in Health, and UNICEF.

Read the full report.