Disability Prevalence and Correlates in Pakistan: A DemographicAnalysis

The paper provides a demographic view of disability patternsin Pakistan, and also highlights the inadequacies and inconsistencies ofdata, especially those provided by the census. Besides assessing theprevalence of disability by age, gender considerations, nature ofdisability and reasons of disability, the paper examines such featuresamong the disabled population as their work participation, training,self-sufficiency and dependence on the help of the others. Even thoughthe estimates of disability worked out from the 1984-85 Survey ofDisabled Population are relatively more realistic, the need forbroadening and standardisation of the concepts and adoption of improvedsurvey procedures for better coverage and diagnostics is clearlyevident. The high prevalence of disability and the fact that nearly halfof the total disabilities occur due to disease, more than a third are bybirth, and about 15 percent are due to accidents, clearly point towardsthe need for preventive and curative health facilities and imparting ofproper awareness among the people. The association of disabilityprevalence with the prevailing conditions of fertility, health,education and socio-economic circumstances, observed from the resultshave important policy implications for the country. The study which hasattempted to provide a view of disability patterns in Pakistan, and tohighlight some of the covariates of disability rate, represents abeginning of a demographic concern in this important area.

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