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International Paralympic Committee and World Health Organization sign global sport agreement

International Paralympic Committee and World Health Organization sign global sport agreement
July 26, 2021

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have announced the signing of memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the promotion of diversity and equity in health and sport.

Agreeing to work together on global initiatives promoting health and sport for “everybody, everywhere”, the two partners will collaborate to improve global access to quality rehabilitation and assistive technology as part of universal health coverage; and mitigate existing inequalities in relation to access to these life-changing services - a prerequisite for equal opportunities and participation in sports for persons with disabilities, including for Paralympians and Para athletes.

Announcing that, as part of the agreement, the two organisations will work to improve global access to rehabilitation and assistive technology as part of a universe health coverage plan to foster diversity and equity through global initiatives, WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated “sport and health are natural allies, with mutually reinforcing benefits.”

“More than that, the Paralympic Games are an inspiring statement of what persons with disabilities can achieve.

“We hope this partnership between WHO and IPC will provide a platform for more persons with disabilities to participate in sport, but also for demonstrating why universal health coverage is so important, by ensuring all persons have the care and technologies they need to fulfil their potential.”

IPC President, Andrew Parsons, said the partnership, which comes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on 24th August, will work to support the 15% of the world’s population that live with a disability.

Parsons added “this new partnership is one that will greatly benefit society, as sport is a tremendous tool for ensuring persons lead active and healthy lifestyles.

“The IPC’s partnership with the WHO goes beyond promoting physical and healthy lifestyles and will also focus on highlighting the role assistive technology plays in the creation of an inclusive world, especially for the over one billion persons with disabilities.”

The WHO estimates about 15% of the world’s population live with a disability - a number that is growing due to demographic changes including population ageing and the global increase in chronic health conditions.

Image: The IPC’s Andrew Parsons and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros at the signing of the MOU in Tokyo last Thursday.

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