By Jake Soriano, VERA Files
Juliet Lara has dystonia, a chronic neurological illness that affects her muscle movement.
“Nanginginig yung katawan ko pag hindi ako nakakainom ng gamot (My body shakes when I fail to drink my medicine),” she said.
Even though dystonia impairs her ability to perform everyday activities, Juliet cannot secure a person with disability (PWD) ID for it, as chronic illnesses are not among the categories that make one eligible for the said program.
She remembers being told, when she applied, to put mental disability instead on the form.
“Sabi ko wala naman akong ano sa utak (But I told them that what I have is not a mental disability),” Lara recalls.
In the end, she was able to obtain her card that states she has an orthopedic disability.
Her experience is not uncommon, according to a 2014 study commissioned by the Department of Health (DOH) with assistance from the Western Pacific Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WPRO).
In reviewing the efficacyRead More »from Include chronic illness in PWD ID – study