Iran + 1 more

WHO and Health Ministry promote inclusion, rehabilitation of persons living with disabilities through joint project in Islamic Republic of Iran

Wednesday 10 November – To support the national health system in promoting the livelihood and wellbeing of the elderly and people living with disabilities, the World Health Organization is implementing a project titled “Improving access to inclusive health care in nursing homes and enhancing quality of life and dignity of most vulnerable population in Iran throughout the COVID-19 pandemic” in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MoHME), and the State Welfare Organization (SWO) in Islamic Republic of Iran.

The project is co-funded by the European Union Humanitarian Aid and will span over 21 months starting in June 2021 sponsoring catalytic and innovative activities that, among others will increase the capacities in long term care facilities for COVID-19 response, procure assistive technologies (e.g., wheelchairs, walkers) for the most vulnerable, train caregivers in providing tailor-made care and services to the elderly and persons living with disabilities, and establish an online platform and network for research and training.

The project was discussed during a recent meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, 10 November, in the presence of a visiting team of experts from the European Union Humanitarian Aid in Islamabad comprising of Head of Office Taheeni Thammannagoda, and Programme Assistant Naeem Gul, WHO Representative and Head of Mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain, Directors of Family, Population and School health and Mental Health, Representatives from Rehabilitation office at MOHME and SWO, as well as the project team from WHO’s Healthier Population Programme.

The duet EU mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran aimed to discuss response to ongoing emergencies including the incoming influx of Afghan refugees in Iran in light of the recent developments in Afghanistan and review current partnerships and future opportunities for collaboration.

“The goal of this joint meeting is to clearly highlight the issues believed to be important to discuss regarding the health system supporting the country, especially in provinces hosting refugees as well as indigenous population, with perspectives from the government and the European Union experts,” said Dr Hussain opening the discussion.

“We have witnessed from our strategic outlook vulnerabilities in the community including mental health, aging, disability rehabilitation, and COVID-19 related and non-COVID-19 related issues, which require an opportunity of bringing additional and more sophisticated care services to the people of Iran plus the 3-4 million refugees,” asserted Dr Hussain.

An introduction and overall recap of the interventions in the partner departments were presented by authorities from MoHME and SWO, while the session reviewed areas of needed psychological and physiological support to be provided to target local and refugee populations through the capacity of Primary Health Care Centres.

The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO), the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.

“We would like to invest in bridging the gap between identified needs of the national community and existing facilities and infrastructure, as well as emerged needs due to the new situation of Afghanistan and refugee crisis, which link to our current project with the European Union Humanitarian Aid,” said Dr Rahim Taghizadeh, National Professional Officer and Head of Healthier Populations Unit.

“The current project involves brilliant ideas to invest on applying establishing a platform for applying normative standards and establishment of mechanisms like the training and capacity building for service providers,” he added, noting that the innovative idea of establishing a network between universities of rehabilitation, welfare, and medical universities, will increase collaboration between academia and practitioners and develop evidence-based and practical knowledge.

“WHO recommends further investment on additional interventions for capacity building courses, improving quality of care, and increasing service utilization,” he concluded.

* This document covers humanitarian aid activities implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains."