Health and Rehabilitation

Happy girl in wheelchair

People with disabilities often have limited access to health and rehabilitation services due to physical and social barriers. The Atlas Alliance and our organizations work to ensure that people with disabilities have access to health and rehabilitation services, without discrimination, in our partner countries in Africa and Asia.

‍Our health and rehabilitation program includes political advocacy work aimed at health authorities, training of health personnel, and delivery of health and rehabilitation services.

What is good health?

‍WHO defines "health" as a condition of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not just the absence of disease and defect. People with disabilities, like all people, need access to inhibitory and curative health services to live an enjoyable life.‍

The Atlas Alliance’s health and rehabilitation program

The Atlas Alliance and our partners work to ensure that people with disabilities achieve and maintain a good life with optimal function in synergy with the society around them. The Atlas Alliance's organizations and their local partners work deliberately with local and national authorities to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities to good health services are protected. They play an important role in communicating new and relevant health information to their target audience. They also contribute to the training and competence building of health personnel, the execution of operations, screening and health checks, referral to local health and rehabilitation services, the development of locally adapted treatment methods, and follow-up and support for already existing offers.‍

The superior goal of good health

The Atlas Alliance and our partners have identified the following superior goal in health and rehabilitation:

  • Girls and boys, women and men with disabilities, and those who are at risk of becoming disabled will be offered inclusive health and rehabilitation services, as well as training in life skills.

Target audiences

‍We have the following target audiences that are directly involved in our activities in Africa and Asia:

  • Blind and visually impaired people.
  • Children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
  • People with mental health problems.
  • Disabled people with their own organizations.
  • Health personnel and volunteers in hospitals and health institutions.
  • Public health authorities.

Results from 2020

The Atlas Alliance's Norad report for 2020 refers to a row of concrete, measured results from this work, as well as multiple examples that describe the situation and the work that is being done. Here are some of the results:

  • 167,580 people with disabilities benefited from our health and rehabilitation services in eight African and Asian countries.
  • Most of the people who took advantage of the offer were part of the Norwegian Association of the Blind (Blindeforbundet) eye health project in Nepal.
  • 145,754 consultations were performed at eye hospitals, clinics and outreached activities.
  • 161,952 people with disabilities, or people who are at risk of becoming disabled, were examined by doctors, most of them in vision testing.
  • 10,159 operations were completed.
  • 99 people with disabilities received support for transport to, and accommodation at, health services.
  • A row of information campaigns on the topic was accomplished in several countries to cancel out discrimination and prejudice.
  • 2,280 people with disabilities received assisting products adapted to their needs.
  • 405 people received rehabilitation services that are relevant to their health needs.
  • 28 people with disabilities received training in life skills.


If you have questions about the Atlas Alliance's health and rehabilitation work in Africa and Asia, you can contact the head of the program department, Marte Onstad-Svare, via email:

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