On the third of December, all countries around the world celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This day has been approved by the United Nations since 1992 to support people with disabilities. This day aims to increase understanding of disability issues and support everyone-friendly designs in order to guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities. This day also calls for an increased awareness of the inclusion of persons with disabilities in political, economic and cultural life. UN celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities under the theme ”Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”.
More than two-thirds of households were able to access treatment or care services for persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic
About 73% of households needed treatment or care for persons with disabilities during the pandemic and were able to access this service, of which about 81% were in the West Bank and 64% in Gaza Strip. The results, at the level of locality type, showed that households residing in rural areas were able to obtain treatment and care services for persons with disabilities during the pandemic at a better rate than households residing in urban areas (about 90% and 72%, respectively), while the percentage of households that received this service in the camps was less than that, where it reached about 62% only.
Children with disabilities in the age group (2-17 years)
By tracking the functional capabilities in the Palestinian Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2019-2020, it was found that 2.4% of children in the age group (2-4 years) suffer from at least one type of disability*. At region level this percentage was about 2% and 3%, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip respectively. The percentage of disabilities was about 15% among children in the age group (5-17 years)**, about 17% in the West Bank and about 13% in Gaza Strip.
Distribution of disability in Palestine
About 6% of persons had at least one difficulty in 2017 in Palestine, with a difference in this percentage by region, where it reached about 7% in Gaza Strip compared to 5% in the West Bank. As for the definition of disability (cannot at all, a lot of difficulty)), the percentage of persons with disabilities in Palestine reached about 2% of the Palestinian population (2% in the West Bank and 3% in Gaza Strip).
The percentage of disability increases among the elderly
Data of the Population, Housing and Establishments Census 2017 indicate that the older persons get, the more likely they are to become disabled. The prevalence of disability is less than 1% up to the age of 5 years, and it increases slowly to reach about 2% among the persons with disabilities by the age of forty. Then the increase becomes more pronounced after the age of 40, where more than 5% of the population aged 60-64 years suffer from a disability, and the percentage increases to about 15% with the age of 70, and it reaches more than 35% among those who reach the age of 85 years and over.
Mobility disability is the most prevalent among adults, while communication disability and mobility disability is the most prevalent among children
The data of 2017 indicated that 1.1% of persons in Palestine have mobility disabilities, which constitutes the highest prevalence rate among the disabilities, as adults mainly suffer from mobility disabilities where it reached 1.7%, while communication and mobility disabilities constitute the highest percentage among children where it reached 0.4% for both.
*: The functional domains of children at the age 2-4 years old include: seeing, hearing, walking, fine motor, communicating, learning, playing, and controlling behavior.
**: The functional domains of children at the age 5-17 years include: seeing, hearing, walking, communication, learning, controlling behavior, self-care, remembering, concentrating, accepting change, making friends, anxiety, and depression.
Source: Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics