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Global Health
July 17, 2018

Older People With Disabilities Overlooked in Humanitarian Response

JAMA. 2018;320(3):227. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9738

As many as 14 million older people with disabilities around the world are affected by humanitarian disasters, but not all are benefitting from humanitarian relief efforts, according to a report from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and HelpAge International, a nongovernmental organization working for the rights of older people around the world.

The investigators explored the experiences and needs of older people with disabilities in humanitarian crises in low- and middle-income countries and the barriers they face in getting help using several complementary methods. The methods included a literature review of studies on older people with disabilities affected by humanitarian crises; analysis of data from 6 population-based disability surveys, including databases from 2 crises-affected populations in Haiti and Palestine; and interviews with older people with disabilities, their family members, and humanitarian actors in 2 conflict-affected settings—Eastern Ukraine and refugee camps in Western Tanzania.