Handicap International's programme in Cuba aims to advance recognition of the rights of people with disabilities and their inclusion in society.
© Marta Burgaya / Handicap International
Out of the more than 360,000 people with disabilities in Cuba, one in three has an intellectual disability. There are a range of contributing factors: a lack of information on the risks linked to disability during pregnancy, a lack of preparation for families bringing home a child with disabilities and a lack of specialist medical equipment. Handicap International therefore works to improve prevention, care-management and understanding of intellectual disabilities within communities, notably in collaboration with professionals in the health sector.
In the Granma province in the south-west of the country, the organisation is helping people with disabilities who have benefited from rehabilitation sessions to obtain adapted and satisfying employment by improving existing vocational training structures.
In the towns of Santiago, Guantanamo and Baracoa, Handicap International is improving protection for vulnerable populations, in particular for women and people with disabilities, during natural disasters. The organisation is raising resident’s awareness so that they have the right reaction when a disaster occurs. It is supporting the authorities and technical institutions in managing earthquake risks.
Access to care in Cuba, one of the largest countries in the Caribbean, is problematic for the most vulnerable people.
The Republic of Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean, with more than 11 million inhabitants. In 2015, presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced that diplomatic relations between the two countries had been restored after a period of more than 50 years. People with disabilities are given free medical care, however, difficulties with transport and the lack of modern and/or specialised equipment (such as audiometry tests) limit their access to this care. Furthermore, disabled people are particularly vulnerable during the natural disasters, particularly hurricanes, such as Hurricane Matthew, which hit the east of Cuba in October 2016 and affected more than 300,000 people.