Characterizing disability and perception of rehabilitation in the health District of Dschang, Cameroon

Type Journal Article - Edorium Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation
Title Characterizing disability and perception of rehabilitation in the health District of Dschang, Cameroon
Volume 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 70-77
Aims: Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine are lagging behind in resource-limited settings (RLS). Baseline data from these settings should set goals for implementation. Following legislation (N°83/013/1983) on the protection of persons with disabilities in Cameroon, we sought to assess the types and potential determinants of physical disability, in order to set-up pitfalls towards better protection and promotion of human rights among disable Cameroonians.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in June 2013 among physical disable individuals living in the Health District of Dschang, a locality of the western region of Cameroon with people from diverse origins. A standard questionnaire identifying disabilities and related socio-economic and health determinants was administered to each identified disabled.
Results: Out of 159 physically disabled (55.9% female and mean age 36 years [sd±17.26], 33.8% with primary educational-level), orthopedic (mainly due to fracture [45.8%] and infectious diseases [29.1%]) and neurological disabilities (mainly hemiplegia [33.3%], hemiparesis [23.8%], and monoplegia [23.8%]) were leading types of disabilities. Main causes of disability were traffic accidents (17.8%) and inappropriate medical interventions (14.5%). Disability onset decreased significantly with age (from 41.4% for 0–10 years to 0.6% for 70–80 years old, p=0.00508), and 50% experienced social discrimination/stigmatization. The disabled had low-income (XAF 50,000–200,000) to pay for rehabilitative care (XAF 10,000–100,000), and up to 83% appealed for an improved quality of rehabilitation medicine.
Conclusion: Wider range of disabilities calls for safer transportation, medical interventions and disease prevention, implementing standard approaches towards rehabilitation and social reintegration of the disabled living in typical RLS.

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