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Why does impairment matter?

Provides reflection on the relationship between impairments and disability
Graphic depicting the profiles of each of the three fictional case-studies
© The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Earlier this week, we introduced our three fictional case studies – Santhi, Maria and Joseph.

Now that we’re a bit more familiar with impairment as a component of disability, we’d like you to reflect on how our case studies’ impairments might impact on their lives, the relationship between their impairments and disability (their exclusion from participation), and to start thinking about the types of health and rehabilitative services that they may benefit from.

Use the images below to help you think about:

  • How might the case studies’ impairments affect their lives?

  • What personal or environmental factors might impact on the way that the case studies’ impairments affect their lives?

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: Image shows Santhi sitting under a tree, isolated from community members and events

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: Image shows Maria playing with her mother, whilst her mother supports her back

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: Image shows Joseph resting on a stick at the local market Remember, you can click on the “See Also” links at the bottom of this page to find out more relevant information on the context in each of these settings.

We look forward to reading and responding to your comments below.

© The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
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Global Health and Disability

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