KARACHI - Over one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, are living with some form of disability. Persons with disabilities, often face barriers to participate in all aspects of society. The result is that these persons do not have equal access to society or services, including education, employment, healthcare, transportation, political participation or justice. These views were expressed by the health experts at a seminar to mark the World Disabled Day organised by Dow University of Health Sciences on Monday at Arag Auditorium of Dow Medical College, Karachi. Prof Dr Umer Farooq, Pro Vice Chancellor, DUHS was the chief guest whereas Dr Nabeela Soomro, Director, Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IPM&R) were also present on the occasion.Every year, Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dow University of Health Sciences celebrated the World Disabled Day to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. Dr Farooq emphasised that there is an urgent need to provide them not only rehabilitative care but also make changes at community level to help them live as independent members of society. He said that the celebration also sought to increase awareness to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities by providing artificial limbs and in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. There is a need to create awareness of every diseases including disability. There is need to promote awareness of the human rights of those with disabilities to lead a full and equal life within their communities. He stressed on ensuring preventive steps in order to stop the diseases initially.Dr Nabeela Soomro in her welcome address said that it was the first-ever institute of its kind in Pakistan. It provides comprehensive multi-disciplinary rehabilitation services with facilities to help patients in Cardiac Rehab, Neurological Rehab, Musculoskeletal Rehab, Pediatric Rehab, Speech and Language Rehab, for an active and healthy lifestyle of the patients. Hence, patients of stroke, TIA, head and spinal injury, GB syndrome, neuropathy, polio, IHD, CCF, CABG, chronic arthritis, backache and frozen shoulder etc, are being benefited.The institute has multidisciplinary rehabilitation team, which includes Physiatrists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Vocational Therapists, Orthotists and Prosthetists, Language and Swallowing Pathologist, Clinical Nutritionist and a Clinical Neurophysiologist, Speech Therapist and Special Educationist. It also provides outpatient and community-based rehabilitation services in rural and urban areas of the country. Earlier, disabled children of the IPM&R performed skits and showed their talents.