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8 per cent people in country have disability: study

Staff Reporter:

Eight percent people of the total population in Bangladesh have disability, a study revealed yester-day said.
Among the people with disability, seven percent people are male and nine percent are female, ac-cording to the study revealed at a roundtable discussion titled “Nationwide Assessment of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) situation of persons with disabilities and older people in Bangla-desh.”
Bangladesh Society for the Change and Advocacy Nexus (B-SCAN) organized the roundtable dis-cussion in collaboration with ICDDR,B at the Daily Star Centre in the city, a press release said.
The study also finds a significantly higher prevalence (47%) among older adults (70+ years) com-pared to those 59 years old (5.2%). To unravel the multifaceted challenges in WASH accessibility, a detailed survey enrolled 2,378 individuals with and without disabilities.
The study highlighted that approximately half of the persons with disabilities (48%) faced difficul-ties in personally collecting water from the sources, while14% encountered difficulties accessing drinking water at home when needed.
A majority (more than 90%) reported physical constraints as the primary barrier, while 16% indi-cated dependency on caregivers, the study added. Most households (77%) had access to basic sani-tation facilities, but they lacked inclusive features such as wheelchair-friendly entry paths (97%) and height-adjustable pan/ commode (97%), easily accessible water (74%). As a result, around 25% of persons with disabilities and older people come in contact with urine or faces while using toilets.
The population-based cross-sectional study, conducted from November 2022 to October 2023, cov-ered all eight divisions and 32 districts of Bangladesh. It involved screening a total of 17,577 indi-viduals from 6,457 urban and rural households, to identify persons with disabilities.

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