Community Based Rehabilitation

BSc. (Associate Degree) in Community Based Rehabilitation – Two Year Degree Program.

Disability is an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions, denoting the negative aspects of the interaction between an individual (with a health condition) and that individual’s contextual factors (environmental and personal factors) (WHO 2011). Persons with disabilities (PWDs) therefore include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments resulting from any physical or mental health conditions which in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others (UN 2008). This view of disability is therefore an expansion beyond the traditional view which focused on impairments only. The World Disability Report estimates that there are over one billion people with disabilities in the world, of who between 110-190 million experience very significant difficulties (WHO 2011). This corresponds to about 15% of the world’s population, and is higher than previous World Health Organization’s estimates. These figures therefore suggest an increase in the prevalence of disability, potentially due to population ageing and the rise in chronic conditions. However, the data underlying these estimates is sparse making it difficult to gauge trends over time or their causes. It is widely reported that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are excluded from education, health, employment and other aspects of society and that this can potentially lead to or exacerbate poverty (WHO 2011). United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that comprehensive rehabilitation services including health, employment, education and social services are needed ‘to enable PWD to attain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability, and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life’ (UN 2008). Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) is the strategy endorsed by WHO for general community development for the rehabilitation, poverty reduction, equalization of opportunities, and social inclusion of all PWD. CBR is implemented through the combined efforts of PWDs themselves, their families and communities, and the relevant governmental and non-governmental health, educational, vocational, social and other services. CBR is delivered within the community using predominantly local resources. cbr The CBR Matrix provides a basic framework for CBR programs. It highlights the need to target rehabilitation at different aspects of life including the five key components: health, education, livelihood, social, and empowerment. Thus, a CBR program is not expected to implement every component of the CBR matrix, and not all PWDs require assistance in each component of the matrix. However, a CBR program should be developed in partnership with PWDs to best meet local needs, priorities and resources. A health condition may lead to an impairment, which could restrict full participation in aspects of society, thus resulting in disability. Providing CBR may reduce some of the consequences of the impairment, by facilitating participation by PWD in the domains of health, education, livelihood, social activities, and empowerment. CBR could therefore range from providing assistive devices in the community to increase mobility, to coordinating with local schools to ensure inclusion of children with disability, offering vocational rehabilitation to increase wage employment, family counseling to improve relationships, and the establishment of self-help groups to improve political participation. The outcomes of CBR will therefore vary depending on the targets of specific programs, but could include improving social participation, clinical outcome and quality of life among Persons with Disabilities.

Career Opportunities
 Working with Government & Non Government Organizations working for:

  • Social work (Volunteerism, private / public sector)
  • Disabilities in Development
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Teaching and Training at the relevant institutions