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Coronavirus: Persons With Disabilities Appeal For Govt Intervention

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People with Disabilities (PWDs) in Ogun, has appealed for special intervention from the state government to mitigate the effects of coronavirus

The appeal was contained in a communique issued at the end of a one day virtual meeting organised for PWDs by Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Ijebu-Ode and made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo on Thursday.

The communique, which was signed by Fr. John Ngoyi, JDPC Director , said people with disabilities were disproportionately affected by the impacts of COVID-19 and also left out of the response to it.

It said many people with disabilities had underlying medical conditions, such as motor neuron disease, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis, which made them more vulnerable to the virus.

According to the communique, people with disabilities are not at risk because they are more physically vulnerable, but because governments and authorities have largely forgotten about them.

It called on government to place people with disabilities at the center of COVID-19 response and recovery efforts and to consult and engage people with them.

The communique also called on government to have data of persons with disability in the state that would help in the delivery of public services to persons with disability.

“First and foremost, governments need to involve and fund organizations of persons with disabilities.

“They need to involve them in all steps of the response and, importantly, on the recovery process.

“Any data collected on the corona virus should also be disaggregated by age, gender, and people with disability
In order to know the effect of Corona virus on people with disabilities”, the communique stated.

It also called on the state government to ensure speedy passage of the disability bill and enforce strict compliance of law.

The communique also urged government to institutionalise a Persons with Disability Desk in all local government areas of the state to address the issues facing PWDs in the various Local Government Offices.

It called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working with PWDs to also carry out an awareness and sensitization campaign to citizens on the need for inclusion of PWDs in all aspects of human life and the reason why PWDs needs to be treated equally.

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