As the world celebrates polio today, the Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC), a non-governmental organisation has called that the commitment to eradicating polio should not be considered complete while those with disabling consequences of polio continue to live in poor, health and social isolation.
The Executive Director , Irene Patrick – Ogbogu at the Fountain walk-An awareness rally held in Abuja recently called on partners and stakeholders to work together to increase community awareness and enhance surveillance to identify residual traces of the virus .
She also called that children are vaccinated with at least three doses of the oral polio vaccine.
Irene lamented that the risk of lifelong paralysis is very serious adding that even children who seem to fully recover can develop new muscle pain , weakness or paralysis as adults , 15 to 40 years later.
She called on the need for relevant authorities to adopt the twin track approach of identifying and eliminating the polio virus while also ensuring the rehabilitation of those experiencing debilitating health and social consequences of surviving polio.
“We urge both the state and non/stare actors to channel the same level of edfort, attention , funding and commitment now being directed towards polio eradication.
“Also, providing for the rehabilitative , medical , educational and social needs for whom the disabling consequences of polio will remain a daily challenge for decades to come.
“We call on Government to fast-track the implementation of the Disability Rights Act without further delay including the establishment of the National Disability Commission to ensure that the health and socio-economic needs of polio survivors are swiftly addressed,” she said.
She lauded the their partners for support their efforts at promoting the rights of person with disabilities adding that the rally made possible with support from Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programmer funded by the European Union and implemented by the British Council.