Assistive Technology in Low-Income Countries

  • Arne H. Eide
  • Tone Øderud


World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that 10% of the global population has a disability, with social educational and/or economical consequences. Although such estimates have a weak basis (Metts, 2000; Eide and Loeb, 2006a) it might be about 600 million people around the world with special needs in terms of health care, education, rehabilitation, appropriate assistive devices and social support. Furthermore it is indicated that 80% of people with disabilities live in low-income countries and also in very poor life conditions with limited access to health care services, rehabilitation and assistive devices. Case studies in developing countries show that higher disability rates are associated with higher rates of illiteracy, poor nutritional status, lower immunization coverage, lower birth weight, higher rates of unemployment and underemployment, and lower occupational mobility (Elwan, 1999). Disability can cause poverty by preventing the full participation of persons with disabilities in the economic and social life of their communities, especially if the appropriate supports and accommodations are not available. This chapter draws on results from recent studies on living conditions among people with disabilities in southern Africa (Eide et al. 2003a, b; Loeb and Eide, 2004; Eide and Loeb, 2006b) and aims at describing the situation for disabled people in low-income contexts with regards to assistive technology.


Disable People Assistive Technology Assistive Device Pressure Sore Service Delivery System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SINTEF Health ResearchOsloNorway

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