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First survey on people with disabilities launched
The Saigon Times Daily
Thursday,  Jan 17, 2019,14:07 (GMT+7)

First survey on people with disabilities launched

The Saigon Times Daily

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick (R) speaks at the launch ceremony of the survey - PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY

HCMC - Vietnam’s first National Survey on People with Disabilities, conducted by the General Statistics Office (GSO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) with funding support from the Australian Government, has been launched in Hanoi.

The survey marked the first time that Vietnam undertook a large-scale survey using tools based on international standards on disability measurement. It provides important new data about people living with disabilities in the country, thus helping develop policies and programs that ensure people with disabilities can realize their rights and full potential.

“The purpose of the survey was to assess the disability status of the population, and to evaluate their socioeconomic conditions to inform evidence-based planning and policies for improving the lives of adults and children with disabilities in Vietnam,” said Vu Thanh Liem, deputy director of GSO.

Addressing the launching ceremony, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick said: “I’m proud that Australia was able to support this work through our partnership with UNICEF. I congratulate Vietnam for delivering a world class national survey that will improve the rights and lives of the millions of Vietnamese people who live with a disability.”

Disability affects a significant portion of Vietnam’s population. According to the survey, over 7% of the population aged two years and older (around 6.2 million) have a disability and an additional 13% (nearly 12 million) live in a household with a person with a disability. These percentages are expected to rise with the aging of the population.

The survey also found that households having members with disabilities tend to be poorer than the national average, and children with disabilities attend school less and adults with disabilities are less employed than their peers without disabilities.

While they are well covered by health insurance, and poverty does not appear to be a barrier to accessing health clinics, few persons with disabilities (2.3%) use rehabilitation services when sick or injured. Gaps also exist in living standards and the social participation of people with disabilities.

The survey highlighted that the most common type of impairment for children is psycho-social related. This is connected to the different development stages of childhood and adolescence, and such impairments can act as a significant barrier to children’s social inclusion.

“More needs to be done to make early identification, intervention and community-based rehabilitation services widely available and accessible, and to improve the provision of social services to children with disabilities, so that they can reach their full potential and fully participate in their communities and in wider society,” said Lesley Miller, the acting country representative for UNICEF.

The Vietnam National Survey on People with Disabilities is one of the first national disability surveys in the world that incorporates both the Washington Group’s extended set of disability questions for adults and the UNICEF/Washington Group’s child functioning module for the identification of persons with disabilities via a survey.

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