WHO Support Package for Rehabilitation

The WHO Support Package for Rehabilitation is a set of resources that support countries to strengthen the provision of quality rehabilitation at all levels of the health system. The first component of the package, a Rehabilitation System Situation Assessment Tool, is being rolled out in several countries in 2017, including Botswana and Vietnam, as part of a process of developing national strategic plans and policies for rehabilitation.

Ensuring early access to rehabilitation in emergencies

Emergencies, particularly sudden-onset disasters and situations of conflict, can result in a surge of people with critical injuries and increasing demand for rehabilitation. Integrating rehabilitation into emergency medical teams (EMTs) is one mechanism to help ensure that people injured in emergencies get access to timely, quality rehabilitation services that will enable them to have the best outcome possible.

Increasing access to assistive technology in less-resources settings

In many low- and middle-income countries, only 5-15% of people who require assistive products have access to them. These products can have a substantial impact on a person’s functioning and well-being. WHO has produced guidelines and training packages to improve access to wheelchairs in resources-poor setting and is working to improve access to quality assistive products through the GATE initiative.

Launch of Rehabilitation in health systems

Rehabilitation in health systems provides recommendations for Ministries of Health and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen and expand the availability of quality rehabilitation services. As populations age and the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases and injuries increase, the demand for rehabilitation grows. Strengthening rehabilitation in health systems is therefore becoming a rising priority for countries.

WHO hosts Rehabilitation 2030: A Call for Action

A 6-7 February 2017, WHO convened rehabilitation experts from around the world for a Call for Action to scale up rehabilitation services. The meeting provided an invaluable opportunity for discussing the strategic direction for coordinated action and establishing joint commitments to raise the profile of rehabilitation as a health strategy relevant to the whole population, across the lifespan and across the continuum of care.

fact buffet

Access to services

<10 per 1 millionDensity of skilled rehabilitation practitioners is less than 10 per 1 million population in many low- and middle-income countries

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Demand for services

75% of YLDs75% of the total number of years lived with disability in the world are linked to health conditions for which rehabilitation is beneficial

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23% increaseThe prevalence of health conditions associated with severe disability has increased by 23% since 2005

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Rehabilitation in emergencies

Emergency medical teams: minimum technical standards and recommendations for rehabilitation

Rehabilitation 2030

In February 2017 WHO hosted Rehabilitation 2030: a call for action, which brought together over 200 rehabilitation experts from 46 different countries. The meeting highlighted the urgent need to address the profound unmet needs for rehabilitation around the world, and the necessity of rehabilitation in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.

News and upcoming events

Launch of Emergency medical teams: Minimum technical standards and recommendations for rehabilitation

Minimum technical standards for specialized care teams for burns, spinal cord injury and orthoplastics

27-28 March 2017

Rehabilitation systems situation assessments in Botswana

April-May 2017

WHO Framework on Rehabilitation Services: expert meeting

29-30 June 2017

Quick links

Regional Offices

Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention (NVI)