International Day of People with Disabilities
More than one billion people, or approximately 15% of the world’s population, live with some form of disability.
People with disabilities, “the world’s largest minority”, often face barriers to participation in all aspects of society. Barriers can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment, technology, legislation, societal attitudes or discrimination. The result is that persons with disabilities do not have equal access to society or services, including education, employment, health care, transportation, political participation or justice.
Evidence and experience show that when barriers to their inclusion are removed and people with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life, their entire community benefits. Barriers, therefore, are a detriment to society as a whole, and accessibility is necessary to achieve progress and development for all.
In spite of this, lack of understanding of accessibility remains an obstacle to the achievement of progress and development through the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, as well as other internationally agreed outcomes for all.
The commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2012 provides an opportunity to address this exclusion by focusing on promoting accessibility and removing all types of barriers in society.
A Special Day for Haiti Advantage
The staff and patients of Medical Teams International's Haiti Advantage Program celebrated International Day of People with Disabilities throughout the weekend, with a soccer match against the PAP amputee soccer team. Saturday, December 1, was an artistan day where people with disabilities displayed their artwork. The community based organization for persons with disabilities, Vwa Nou, (meaning "Our Voices") displayed its members' work. On Sunday, Vwa Nou participated in a musical event.
The staff and patients of the Haiti Advantage Program are very grateful to the donors and volunteers that contribute to the program's success. Every year, hundreds of lives are improved and numerous communities are stronger from the work that is performed. Please help us continue our work with a donation for Helping People with Disabilites in our Gift Catalog.
World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 each year around the world. It has become one of the most recognized international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.
It also provides an opportunity for people to learn the facts and get the latest information about HIV and put that knowledge into action.
Each year for World AIDS Day,UNAIDS releases an update on the pandemic. This year the report is aptly entitled: Results 2012, for in the absence of a vaccine or a cure (the pandemic is far from over) our efforts are yielding results. There has been progress in reducing new HIV infections – a more than a 50% drop across 25 countries -- as well as increasing the number of people on life saving antiretroviral treatment (an increase of 63% in the last 24 months). In sub-Saharan Africa, a record 2.3 million people had access to treatment in the past year. There were more than 700 000 fewer new HIV infections globally in 2011 than in 2001; Africa alone has cut AIDS-related deaths by one third in the past six years.
The area where perhaps most progress has been made is in reducing new HIV infections in children. Half of the global reductions in new HIV infections in the last two years have been among newborn children. In the last two years, new HIV infections in children decreased by 24%.
What has made the difference? These successes and gains have been realized by an unprecedented concerted global effort, by the perseverance of committed people from various sectors working together, from collective political will, from focused resources, collaboration and follow through.
The report also cites an increase in more countries assuming shared responsibility by increasing domestic investments in the AIDS response, thus relieving some of the burden from the US global health budget.
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to HIV and AIDS patients.
The Medical Teams International HIV and AIDS program helps prevent new HIV infections, protect the dignity and reduce the suffering of those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
We are improving the provision and access of care and treatment services as well as enable communities to care for and support those impacted by AIDS.
Medical Teams International supports and strengthens in-country partners and staff to implement programs in Africa, East Asia and Latin America.
For more information is on the HIV and AIDS program page.
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
November 18, 2012
Nearly every day, a serious road accident somewhere in the world makes banner headlines. For every such news event, many other road traffic crashes, both fatal and non-fatal, go unreported because they have become such “routine” events. More than 3,400 people die daily on the world’s roads and tens of thousands are disabled for life.
The devastation that these incidents wreak on victims, their families, friends and communities is incalculable.
The Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, first held in 1993 in the United Kingdom and organized since then by nongovernmental organizations internationally, was created as a means to give recognition to victims of road traffic crashes and the plight of their loved ones who must cope with the emotional and practical consequences of these events.
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On October 26, 2005, the United Nations adopted a resolution which calls for governments to mark the third Sunday in November each year as World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Observation of this day provides an opportunity to draw attention to road traffic crashes, their consequences and costs, and the measures which can be taken to prevent them. The day also provides an opportunity to remind governments and society of their responsibility to make roads safer.
Medical Teams International is currently in its second year of the World Health Organization’s Decade of Action for Road Safety. According to statistics, “more than 3,400 people die daily on the world’s roads and tens of thousands are disabled for life.”
We are taking part in this movement with EMC programs in Cambodia where we are in the process of training up to 580 emergency medical care providers to be able to mobilize quickly and effectively to help prevent injuries and deaths.
Read more about our EMC programs in Cambodia and our EMC education program.