Access to quality healthcare

Access to Quality Healthcare

Health is a basic need and every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health care services and reproductive health. However, persons with intellectual disabilities are sometimes denied the basic right to have control over what happens to their bodies. Health care decisions can include informal decisions such as nutrition, physical fitness, hygiene, and birth control, as well as formal decisions such as whether to undergo medical procedures and consenting to medical treatment.

Health is a basic need and every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health care services and reproductive health. However, persons with intellectual disabilities are sometimes denied the basic right to have control over what happens to their bodies.

Health care decisions can include informal decisions such as nutrition, physical fitness, hygiene, and birth control, as well as formal decisions such as whether to undergo medical procedures and consenting to medical treatment.People with intellectual disabilities also have increased health needs, whilst receiving poorer health care. People with intellectual disabilities have a different pattern of health need. For example, epilepsy, gastro-esophageal reflux disorder, sensory impairments, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, dementia, dysphagia, dental disease, musculoskeletal problems, accidents, and nutritional problems are all much more commonly experienced

As an intervention, KAIH conducts awareness forums to address health issues and it has been instrumental in de-stigmatizing disability. The forums are conducted through health talks where parents and guardians work in partnership with the hospitals to enhance access to quality healthcare and reproductive health services for persons with intellectual disabilities.

The areas of focus in awareness forums include:

  • Reasonable accommodation in the field of health care and reproductive health
  • Equal access to health care in the sense of geographical access (e.g. rural / urban areas ) and in relation to payment systems (e.g. health insurance)
  • Provision of health care reproductive health services training to persons with intellectual disabilities to enhance decision making knowledge and skills development:
  • Trainings of health professionals to effectively communicate to persons with intellectual disabilities
  • Investment in family support especially for early identification and intervention