‘Sport for all’ to be promoted among the disabled, elderly

November 25, 2020 - 17:16

TEHRAN – A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of Sports and Youth and the Welfare Organization on Wednesday to promote sports among persons with disabilities and the elderly.

Vahid Ghobadi Dana, head of the Welfare Organization, said that under the MOU, local, provincial and national festivals will be held jointly, as well as clubs that can provide quality services to the welfare target community.

He noted that currently, about 150,000 people suffering from physical disabilities are active in more than 50 different sports, and so far they have won about 1,000 medals in world competitions, over 70 medals in Asian Para Games, and 200 medals in Paralympic competitions.

The population of senior citizens currently exceeds 8 million in Iran and the annual growth rate of the country's aging population is about 3.8 percent, head of the secretariat national council of the elderly Hassan Salmannejad said in December 2018.

The 2011 census observed a significant demographic change in the elderly population of Iran (the percentage of the elderly population increased from 7.27 to 8.20 percent from 2006 to 2011, and to 8.65 percent in 2016). The aging population is predicted to rise to 10.5 percent in 2025 and to 21.7 percent in 2050.

Over 1.3m persons with disabilities live in Iran

Pirouz Hanachi, the mayor of Tehran, said in December 2019 that over 1.3 million people suffering from disabilities live in the country and the figure rises by 50,000 every year.

Majlis [the Iranian parliament] approved both general outlines and details of a bill on the rights of persons with disabilities in January 2018. Development of disability-friendly cities, free transportation, health insurance, free education, job creation, housing loans, and fewer working hours are some of the articles of the law.

Since the approval of the law, education for students with disabilities have been provided in Azad universities, subsidies for patients with spinal cord injury as well as disability care centers have been increased, he stated, adding, 1,057 residential units will be provided to families having members with disabilities within next week.

Disability prevalence worldwide

About 15 percent of the world's population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4 percent experience significant difficulties in functioning.

The global disability prevalence is higher than previous WHO estimates, which date from the 1970s and suggested a figure of around 10 percent. This global estimate for disability is on the rise due to population aging and the rapid spread of chronic diseases, as well as improvements in the methodologies used to measure disability.

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