Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

WashU: Health Care Worsens for Disabled Afghans

A 15-year effort to improve health care in war-torn Afghanistan has done little to improve care for people with disabilities, according to a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

[Photo: Dr. Jean-Francois Trani]

Researchers surveyed hundreds of disabled people in Afghanistan in 2005 and in 2013 and asked about the availability of health care and their satisfaction with it. They found that both measures had worsened over time.

“Health policy in Afghanistan will need to address attitudinal, social and accessibility barriers to health care,” wrote the study’s lead author, Dr. Jean-Francois Trani, associate professor at the Brown School.

Since 2002, substantial efforts have been made to improve health care in Afghanistan. But while progress has been observed for the general population, people with disabilities have not shared in the benefits for a number of reasons, including poverty, lack of education, and discrimination.

“There is a serious risk of widening the gap between the majority who benefit from peace and reconstruction and members of marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, who are left out of progress,” Dr. Trani wrote.

The study was published in the August 14 issue of The Lancet Global Health.

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