The National Rehabilitation Strategy 2009-2013, which was established to strengthen services offered to persons living with disabilities, was officially launched in
Guyana in March. The strategy was developed through collaboration between the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), and it encompasses all aspects of disability and rehabilitation services provided by public, private and voluntary services in the country.
Rehabilitation services in
Guyana have suffered setbacks in previous years and still face challenges, but the new strategy is expected to significantly impact the delivery and quality of services. Key objectives of the strategy include to: strengthen and expand the multi-sectoral approach to disability and rehabilitation; improve rehabilitation services and integrate them into the primary health care system; involve the community; and address the lack of reliable, up-to-date and accessible data regarding persons living with disabilities.
The PAHO/WHO representative in the country, Kathleen Israel, emphasized that disability and rehabilitation services have not been addressed properly for too long in the country. Bárbara Lawrence, Director of Rehabilitation Services, expressed that the general objective of the strategy is to prevent disabilities and improve the health and quality of life of people living with disabilities. She stated that the Disability Bill in Parliament will complement the strategy and strengthen and expand services currently available in