The Centre for Citizens with Disability, CCD, has charged the government of Enugu state to integrate persons with disabilities in the distribution of Covid-19 palliatives.
Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, David Anyaele gave the charge on Thursday while addressing journalists during a virtual media parley to unveil the centre’s findings on the implementation of Covid 19 palliatives distribution in Enugu state.
Anyaele said the center for citizens with disabilities conducted a research to find out the Rapid Assessment of the Effectiveness of Government Covid-19 Communication and Palliative Distribution Strategies with focus on persons with disabilities the state.
The research which was conducted in four different states of the federation including Enugu state, revealed that a higher percentage of persons with disabilities were aware of Covid-19 and the distribution of palliatives in the state.
According to the research , 76:1percent where invited to receive palliative mainly through other sources apart from the state government while Stakeholders who were actively involved in the Distribution of Palliatives to PWDs (persons with disabilities) at the LGA levels include: Federal Government (11:8)per, State Government (11:4) per cent, LGA(15:2) per cent , NGOs/CBOs (14:9)per cent.
The centre tasked the state government to design, implement and effectively inform the citizens especially PWDs on aspects of Covid-19 palliatives.
“Provision should be made for the screening of PWDs for Covid-19, so that those infected can benefit from the free treatment from government, also improvement in d palliative distribution by the inclusion of PWDs in the process as this will increase the Covid-19 palliative scheme, as a matter of urgency before they are compelled to resort to survival behavior that are contrary to government efforts to control the spread of the disease in the state. ”
Some recommendations made by the centre include;
1- IEC Strategies that are sensitive to the blind, deaf and physically challenged Should be adopted to educate PWDs, they should be trained and involved in delivering the information to them through:
a-Braille for the blind
b-Sign Language interpreters for the deaf and
c- Bold prints for persons with albinism
2-Provision should be made for the screening of PWDs for COVID-19 so that those infected can benefit from the treatment by the government.
3- Identify and train trainers and support them with necessary logistics to step down training to members of their community or Cluster.
4-Improvement in the Palliatives Distribution by the inclusion of PWDs in the Process.
5- Improvement in the process of communication to the beneficiaries of palliatives by involving the local PWD leaders Leaders in the process .
6-There is Need to re-design the administrative components of the COVID-19 Palliatives Support scheme with a view to effectively covering more PWDs as beneficiaries before they are compelled to adopt survival behaviours that are capable of undermining government efforts at controlling spread of the disease , Which might be costlier.
CCD as an NGO for the PWDs has been in collaboration with the UKAID, ActionAid in the Strengthening Citizens Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) in Nigeria.
Anyaele also called for the passage of the Persons with Disability Bill into law.