New Internationalist

The Facts

January 1981

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THE DISABLING WORLD[image, unknown] The Facts

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The Disabling World
Out of the present world population of 4.3 billion an estimated

100 million now disabled through malnutrition.

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Every year 250,000 children loose their eyesight through lack of Vitamin A alone. Prevention can cost as little as 5 cents per person per year.

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30 million are now disabled by traffic accidents.

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For the vast majority of the World's disabled the main agent of rehabilitation is a strong well advised and well supported family.

Malnutrition and disease in pregnancy and in the first few months of life is the world's biggest cause of disability in children. Yet the world produces more than enough food to provide an adequate diet for everyone. The problem is poverty and unequal distribution.

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High-cost technologies and institutions are irrelevant to the vast majority of the world's disabled. The most practical way to improve their lives is to give help and support to their families so that they can live I ives which are as normal as possible within their own communities.

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Most disabled people agree that other peoples' attitudes - embarrassment, ignorance, or neglect can be as disabling as the disability itself.

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A child's development is a building process - each stage laying the foundation for the next. If stages are missed out, all subsequent stages can be affected. So for the world's 200 million disabled children, the most important need is to minimise the impact on their normal development.

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Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 095 This feature was published in the January 1981 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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This article was originally published in issue 95

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