Some 6.2 million Vietnamese are disabled: national survey
Updated : Saturday, January 12, 2019 10:10 AM (GMT+0700)

People withdisabilities account for 2 percent of Vietnam’s population from the age of twoupwards, equaling approximately 6.2 million people, according to a nationalsurvey released on January 11.

A gathering of people with disabilities in Ninh Binh. Illustrative image - Source: VNA

The survey is the first of its kind carried out on such alarge scale using international tools, including one specially designed by theUnited Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Washington Group on DisabilityStatistics to examine child functioning. The General Statistics Office, withtechnical support from UNICEF, ran the survey for two years in 2016 and 2017.

Accordingly, 13 percent of the Vietnamese population, orclose to 12 million people, lived in households with disabled members. The ratewas forecast to rise in the context of an aging population.

Despite the fact that people with disabilities are subject tofavourable health insurance policies, only 2.3 percent of them have access torehabilitation services when sick or injured.

School attendance rates for children with disabilities,particularly at higher levels of education, were also lower than that ofable-bodied children. At the secondary level, below one third of children withdisabilities went to school at the right age, compared to the proportion oftwo-thirds among able-bodied kids. Only two percent of primary and secondaryschools in the country had been designed to accommodate the needs of pupilswith disabilities, while only one seventh of all total schools have a teachertrained in teaching disabled students.

Lesley Miller, acting chief representative of UNICEF inVietnam, said the survey is important and timely as Vietnam has begun itsimplementation of the agenda for sustainable development goals (SDGs), whichfocuses on the principle of leaving no one behind. 

UNICEF expects that the survey will help Vietnam meet theSDGs’ requirement on disability statistics and come up with suitable policieson social service and welfare for the disabled group, she noted.

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick said thesurvey brings about information that could help calculate progress in ensuringthe rights and interests of people with disabilities and their access to educationaland health services.

Source: VNA

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