This month we observe the International Day of Disabled Persons. The observance of this day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities.
The theme this year is “Building back better:toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world by, for and with persons with disabilities?
According to the World Health Organization‘s report on disability, 15% of the worlds population, or more than 1 billion people, are living with disability. Because of this, the care and respect of the disabled is everyone’s responsibility.
Of this number, approximately 450 million people are living with a mental or neurological condition. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, disrupted routines and decreased access to services, has greatly impacted the lives and mental well-being of people with disabilities. As we continue to fight against the virus with masks, social isolation and the vaccine, is important that we look for and treat mental and neurological disabilities that may not be immediately apparent.
Every Christmas season, I look forward to watching “a Christmas Carol“. As a father as well as a Rehabilitation Physician, I get a lump in my throat every time I watch the movie at the thought of losing Tiny Tim. His famous phrase “God bless us, everyone!“ Is symbolic of Scrooge’s change of heart and a great redemption story.
Scrooge: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the past, present, and the future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me.”