DISABILITY - PUBLIC HEALTH

Prevention of disabilities

There are several distinct forms of disability that need to be addressed, and they may be either inherited or acquired. Each form of disability needs a somewhat different prevention strategy. For example, pre-conception rubella immunization can prevent a range of neurological and other problems in the child; some forms of genetically determined physical, mental or developmental disabilities may be prevented through preconception counseling, while in utero diagnosis may present opportunities for early post-partum intervention or the option for termination of pregnancy; spina bifida may be prevented through maternal nutritional supplementation; cerebral palsy may be prevented through high quality care prenatally and during birth; and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder may be prevented by avoiding alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Other forms of developmental disability may be prevented through programs for healthy infant and child development, including the detection and treatment of iron deficiency anemia in infancy and the prevention or early detection of hearing problems or speech-language pathology that, uncorrected, can result in developmental and mental health problems in later years.; and some forms of mental disability may be prevented through mental health promotion in homes, schools and workplaces. A wide range of physical disabilities may be prevented through injury prevention, while neuro-sensory disability such as loss of sight or hearing can be prevented through a range of protective interventions in homes, schools, workplaces, recreational settings and the community.

Watch more
Disabled Iraq War Veteran