Disability in Mauritius - pattern, trend and policy implications

Ramachandran Koduvayur V, Independant Consultant
Jumoondar Sunkur

Recognizing the major threat of increasing incidence of non communicable diseases representing 75% of disease burden including diabetes, hypertension, cardio vascular diseases and mental illness resulting in blindness, amputation of limbs, paralysis and other disabilities, Mauritius census since 1990 included questions on disability . With 40790 disabled persons ( sex ratio 102 ) the disability rate was 34.6 in 2000 ( 26.4 in 1990 ) . Females showed higher increase, perhaps through better awareness/reporting, increased incidence over age and ageing . Three major groupings of disability were (1) mobility, ( 2 ) communication and ( 3 ) development. While communication disabilities predominated for females, for males it was mobility. Burden on members was heavier in large households. Social inequities like less opportunities for marriage, education, economic activity were quite significant but abated during the decade. With break up of joint families, legislative measures and government intervention are important.

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Presented in Session 148: The demography of disability: setting new directions