WHO names Caregiver Skills Training program in tool kit for Universal Health Coverage

The World Health Organization (WHO) has included the Caregiver Skills Training program as part of its Universal Health Coverage (UHC) compendium launched in December.

The compendium is a database of recommended health interventions meant to guide countries that are making progress toward Universal Health Coverage, WHO's strategic priority to ensure all people have access to essential health services without financial hardship. 

“Autism Speaks fully supports the World Health Organization’s efforts to ensure that people with developmental delays and disabilities, including autism, are able to get the services they need,” said Andy Shih, Ph.D., senior vice president for public health and inclusion at Autism Speaks. “Caregiver Skills Training (CST), developed in collaboration with the WHO, is a low-cost, effective way to support developmental health in places around the world where there are fewer or no resources, including communities in high-income countries like the U.S.” 

Traditionally delivered in-person by local facilitators who train parents on using everyday routines and home activities to support healthy development, CST has been culturally adapted and translated for local communities as it has been implemented in 33 countries.  

As part of the UHC’s toolbox of essential services, CST is recognized as an evidence-based tool for supporting people with developmental delays and disabilities as countries consider their needs and priorities in building their health programs. 

“As more countries begin to build programs that support public health on their journey toward Universal Health Coverage, we’re glad to play a part in ensuring people with disabilities are included in those efforts,” said Dr. Shih. 

Autism Speaks has developed a series of six short animated videos based on lessons from CST Field Test version 3.0. Find the full suite of Caregiver Quick Tips videos on our YouTube playlist