CBR Coverage Expanding Nationwide

CBR Coverage Expanding NationwideCBR Coverage Expanding Nationwide

More than 90% of the country’s rural areas have been covered by CBR (community-based rehabilitation) program, says Keyvan Davatgaran, director of the rehab center for the disabled at the State Welfare Organization.

“The program covers almost 96% of regions in some provinces while it provides full coverage in a few,” he said at a function held on the occasion of full CBR coverage in Khorasan Razavi Province on Monday, ISNA reported.

CBR aims to help people with disabilities, by establishing community-based programs for social integration, equal opportunities, and rehabilitation programs for the disabled.

Programs include home care and training home caregivers to assist people with disabilities. The strength of CBR programs is that they are available in rural areas with limited infrastructure as program leadership is not restricted to professionals in healthcare, education, vocational or social services. Rather, CBRs involve the people with disabilities themselves, their families and communities, as well as the relevant professionals.

Davatgaran noted that the programs also cover several areas, including but not limited to livelihood, employment, and social affairs.

Iran is one of the pioneers of CBR program in the world, says deputy head of the rehab center Yahya Sokhangooyi “Since 1993 when the pilot CBR program launched in Semnan Province, it has expanded to at least one town in each province.”

By January 2015, 304,759 disabled people were identified by the program. As of now, more than 380,000 disabled individuals have been identified across the country 250,000 of whom have gone through needs assessment in order to benefit from the programs.

“Khorasan Razavi is the leading region in the country in expanding rehab services,” he stressed. “For expanding CBR coverage to the entire country, we need four times the funds we currently have and need to also harness local capacities and elicit communal cooperation.”

There are networks active in the field of CBR in many countries. The CBR Asia-Pacific Network, for instance, was established and endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the national CBR network members in 36 countries including Iran (as of 2013).

The aim of the network is to promote and strengthen CBR across the region and globally; and to mobilize and support resources and information exchange. CBR Asia-Pacific Network promotes disability-inclusive development and works in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD); and the Sustainable Development Goals, built upon the Millennium Development Goals and converged with the post-2015 development agenda, since CBR also promotes poverty relief.

Poverty usually plays a major role in exacerbating physical disability and in many cases the problem worsens if monetary assistance is not provided on time, Davatgaran said, adding that “breaking the cycle of poverty early on and in the most expedient manner is among the objectives CBR programs pursue.