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Governments Need To Address Disability To Achieve MDGs, WHO/World Bank Report Says

More than one billion people worldwide live with a physical or mental disability, with 80 percent of those people living in developing countries, according to the first world report on disability, published by the WHO and World Bank on Thursday, the Guardian reports. The report, which updates disability data for the first time in 40 years, found that 20 percent of the world’s poorest people have a disability and said the Millennium Development Goals would not be reached unless action is taken to address the needs of these people, according to the newspaper (Provost, 6/9).

“The problem of disability is likely to get substantially worse unless governments acknowledge it,” the report says, the Washington Post writes, adding, “Two huge trends are contributing to its growth.” As once-poor populations become more wealthy, they are more prone to disabilities caused by non-communicable diseases, and age-related disabilities are becoming more common, as the over-80 population is the fastest growing age population worldwide (Brown, 6/9).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.