Graphic depicting the profiles of each of the three fictional case-studies
Fictional Case Studies

Why does disability matter: Individual case studies from three countries

We’ve now begun exploring why disability matters, both on a global level and through hearing some personal experiences from people with disabilities living in different contexts.

As we continue our learning about global health and disability, we’re going to continue thinking about how this affects people’s lives in different ways, through the use of three fictional case studies. These case studies will help us reflect on the links between health and disability, and give you a chance to test your learning by applying your new knowledge to these theoretical situations.

We’re going to introduce them below, but we’ll come back to them a number of times throughout the course.

Case Study 1 - Santhi: Santhi is a young woman in her twenties in India. She lives in rural India, with her parents in a resource poor household. She has experienced symptoms of schizophrenia since her adolescence, but had no formal diagnosis. She is not married, and does not have a job.

Case Study 1: A young woman in her twenties in India. She lives in Rural India, with her parents in a resource poor household. She has experienced symptoms of schizophrenia since her adolescence, but had no formal diagnosis. She is not married, and does not have a job. Image shows Santhi standing outside of her house

Case Study 2 - Maria: Maria is a four year old girl who was born with cerebral palsy. She lives in Central Guatemala. Her mother received a formal diagnosis from a doctor and attends a caregiver support group where she receives advice and support from other parents. Her mother previously worked as a seamstress but has now given up her job to care for her child

Case Study 2: She is a four year old girl who was born with cerebral palsy. She lives in Central Guatemala. Her mother received a formal diagnosis from a doctor and attends a caregiver support group where she recieves advice and support from other parents. Her mother previously worked as a seamstress but has now given up her job to care for her child. Image shows Maria in a sling on her mother's back. Her mother is standing in a public street

Case Study 3 - Joseph: Joseph is an older male from North West Cameroon. He is waiting for a referral for a free cataract operation. He also has age-related hearing loss, but this has not been diagnosed. He is still quite active, helping tend to the family farm

Case Study 3: He is an older male from North West Cameroon. He is waiting for a referral for a free cataract operation. He also has age-related hearing loss, but this has not been diagnosed. He is still quite active, helping tend to the family farm. Image shows Joseph leaning on a stick outside his house

Please use the comments section below to summarise the ways that you think having a disability might impact on the lives of our case studies.

Think about how their disability might affect:

• Access to work

• Access to school

• General health

• Quality of life

• Social inclusion

• Poverty

You might want to check out the ICED Disability Survey Reports from India, Guatemala and Cameroon respectively, which are linked in the “See Also” section at the bottom of the page, for relevant information on the context in each of these settings.

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This article is from the free online course:

Global Health and Disability

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine