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People With Disabilities Make up Over 7% of Vietnam's Population: UNICEF

According to a recent UNICEF study, there are 6.2 million people with disabilities in Vietnam, accounting for 7% of the country’s population.

Prior to the release of the report on January 11, UNICEF and the General Statistics Office conducted a one-year survey about disabled people in Vietnam (2016-2017). This is the first large-scale survey using international standards to collect comprehensive information about the lives of people with disabilities across the nation.

Deputy General Director of General Statistics Office Vu Thanh Liem told Zing: "The purpose of the survey is to assess the disability status of the population, as well as socio-economic conditions, in order to provide planning and policies to improve the lives of people with disabilities in Vietnam."

Disabilities affect a significant proportion of the country's population. More than 7% of the population over two years old is disabled, accounting for 6.2 million people. Besides, the study found, nearly 12 million people — 13% of the nation — live in households with a handicapped person.

According to the survey results, households with disabled members are often poorer and there are fewer job opportunities for people with disabilities. Moreover, handicapped children are less likely to attend school than their peers. At high-school level, less than one-third of children with disabilities go to school at the right age, compared to two-thirds of children without disabilities.

Even though people with disabilities are eligible for health insurance, very few of them (2.3%) have access to recovery services when they get sick or are injured. In addition, there are still inequalities regarding living standards and social participation for disabled people, researchers found.

Lesley Miller, UNICEF's chief representative, told the news source: “We need more efforts to provide community-based early detection, effective intervention and recovery services so that children with disabilities can maximize their potential and fully participate in the society.”

Although handicapped children share the same curriculum with their peers, only 2% of primary and secondary schools in Vietnam have suitable facilities for physically challenged students.

[Photo by Viet Thuong via Zing]

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