Health-care facilities, social services and financial protection can be inaccessible for persons with disabilities — particularly for the 80% of more than one billion worldwide who live in low- and middle-income countries. This week’s Global Disability Summit — organized by the governments of Norway and Ghana and the International Disability Alliance, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) — aims to persuade governments, civil society, United Nations organizations, the private sector and other actors to commit to concrete action, including ensuring equitable access to health services for all.
Achieving health and well-being for all will be possible only when disability is included in health-sector priorities. All stakeholders will need to collaborate in designing equitable programmes (see also go.nature.com/3bc9m9g), including in health-emergency responses.
The WHO is taking steps to support countries in achieving a disability-inclusive health sector. A global report on the highest attainable standard of health for people with disability, as requested by WHO member states, will be launched in December, together with a Guide for Action. The implementation of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy across the WHO through a three-year action plan is an example of good practice worth scaling-up.