‘Rehabilitation should be included in the mainstream health services’

Dr Alarcos Cieza, Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva explained about the wide global strategy on Rehabilitation, speaking exclusively to My Medical Mantra. She said the conference was amazing and well organised. And thanked Dr Nirmal Surya for his wonderful efforts


  • Progressive neurological disorders such as dementias, Parkinson’s and tumours and isolated neurological events such as traumatic brain injuries and strokes can benefit enormously from neurorehabilitation.
  • Once the acute stage of treatment for a brain injury is completed, neuro rehabilitation steps in to help the patient recover, maximise their functional and cognitive abilities and to help them realise their personal goals.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, at WCNR 2018, Dr Alarcos Cieza, Department for Management of Non-communicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, World Health Organization (WHO) said, “In the context of this conference is about rehabilitation services. There is a huge need of rehabilitation around the world.”

She added, “However, the awareness of such a need is not there. And unfortunately, the provisions are not there. So that is something we need to change. Because, we need to do something to bridge this need. It is important to do advocacy for the need of rehabilitation services in the countries and the increase capacity to be able to provide these services in countries. This is very much needed in India but India is not alone. There are many countries in the world that are in the same situation.”

Speaking about the agenda of WHO, she said, “What we want to promote at WHO, is the agenda of rehabilitation integrity in health services and as the part of people centred care. Universal health care is very important and rehabilitation should be included in universal health coverage. WHO gives technical support to the countries who embark on the process of rehabilitation. So, rehabilitation should be included in the mainstream health services.”

She emphasised, “People with disabilities need rehabilitation. Also, accident victims and stroke patients also need the same. We need an extensive research to prove the effects of low cost rehabilitation. We should research on how we can scale up low cost rehabilitation services. If we can scale up these services many countries who don’t have resources will be benefited.”

Explaining about Global political priority Dr Cieza said, “It depends on the actor power, ideas, political context and features of the topic (Credible indicators, severity and effective interventions).”

“The conference was amazing and well organised. Can’t thank Dr Nirmal Surya enough for his wonderful efforts,” she concluded.