Since the global outbreak of COVID -19, RI President, Mme. Zhang Haidi, has been following closely on how the pandemic is affecting lives of persons with disabilities around the world, and proactively initiating dialogues with UN agencies and international disability organizations on response measures. Her initiatives were warmly responded. Director General from WHO, Dr. Tedros highly commended Mme. Haidi’s efforts in COVID -19 response in their latest correspondence.
Dr. Tedros thanked Mme. Haidi for “highlighting the importance of ensuring that persons with disabilities around the world are included in the COVID-19 response”. He stated that “WHO in collaboration with their colleagues across the United Nations system, continues to ensure that persons with disabilities are prioritized in every phase of the COVID-19 response”.
Referring to Mme. Haidi’s letter, Dr. Tedros said that WHO welcome the offer of Rehabilitation International to support their work. “Should a new series of conferences in collaboration with our United Nations colleagues be planned, your offer to support it would certainly be envisaged.”
In the letter Mme. Haidi addressed to Dr. Tedros in May, she highly appreciated WHO’s special attention to and targeted measures for persons with disabilities, and proposed that WHO convene a video conference with participation from country members and international disability organizations, to address the care services and health-related issues of persons with disabilities as part of the global community’s efforts against COVID -19. As she stated, “RI stands ready to support the conference in every way we can, should WHO decide to organize it.”