Disabled network demands inclusion in Covid-19 palliative measures



Persons With Disabilities (PWD’s) under the auspices of the Network of Disabled Women has demanded inclusion in all government activities and interventions on the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “there is nothing about us, without us.” 

A statement signed by the Chairperson and CEO of the Network of Disabled Women, Lois Auta, noted that Nigeria has over 20 million citizens with disabilities who are much more prone and vulnerable to the pandemic. 

According to the statement, “Persons with disabilities feel they have been left behind. Precautionary measures, such as social distancing and self-isolation may be impossible for those who rely on the support of others to perform their daily tasks.”

The statement noted the challenge PWD’s face when trying to access health facility and other physical barriers in their daily lives, calling on critical stakeholders to create partnership opportunities for them while Federal and  State Governments should ensure that their rights are given to them.

“Access to Healthcare facilities is already a big issue, other barriers include physical obstacles, discrimination, lack of access to ICT and other existing stigmas that exclude persons with disabilities. 

“Presently, PWD’s have been carried along as expected in the struggle on ending this menace, no COVID-19 disability response team that has been set up, no funds set aside by the government for the welfare of persons with disabilities during this lockdown, the isolation centres, medical infrastructures and equipment are inaccessible to PWDs,” the statement said.

It therefore called on government to provide free mobile data and internet access as well as engage persons with disabilities in the call centres and situation rooms. 

“All updates/news/announcement on COVID-19 must be accessible and inclusive, Create prevention and awareness programs and Educate caregivers on how to treat and take care of PWDs.

” We want support and donations to disabled women organisations. Mechanisms must be created to provide funding to cater for the needs of persons with disabilities, Food banks that will supply foodstuffs and  toiletries for persons with disabilities should be established and Engage Disabled People Organisations in the Presidential Task Force Team on COVID-19,” the statement added.

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