Nigerians living with disabilities have been urged to take appropriate measures to protect themselves from contacting the endemic Coronavirus.
This call was made by the David O. Anyaele, Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) in Kaduna State.
According to him, these measures could include avoiding large gathering, public function or party or better still stay in-doors.
“Persons with disabilities should note that a government that cannot establish the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities 14 months after the passage of the National Disability Act, may not be in a hurry to protect them from the negative consequence of the Coronavirus”.
“We are worried that Federal and States Government information on the prevention, spread and control of the virus are not disability sensitive”.
He said in all the television announcement by the Ministry of Health and its agencies on the virus, none is disability friendly as there are absence of sign language interpreters to interpret for the deaf community in Nigeria on what the government is doing to control the spread of the virus.
“Nigerian with disabilities are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable population, as such we call for an all-inclusive prevention, response and control mechanism to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind in the management of this pandemic”.
He call on the Federal and State Government to ensure that all information relating to protection and control of the spread of the Coronavirus are disseminated in a disability friendly format to ensure that no one is left behind in the dissemination of public information about Coronavirus pandemic.
“We call on President Mohammadu Buhari to implement the National Disability Act through the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities and implement section 2 of the Act which provides that Federal Ministry of Information shall make provision for the creation of awareness regarding rights, respect, and dignity of persons with disabilities; capabilities, achievements, and contributions of persons with disabilities”
Furthermore,Anyaele said pending when they receive convincing information on the control of the spread of the virus, CCD will be putting on hold all public functions and activities at the National and State levels.
“Should the spread of the virus continue, we may consider closing all our offices as we are not satisfied with the management of the pandemic by Federal Government of Nigeria”.
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is the premier organization of, and for persons with disabilities that works to promote disability rights, independent living, and social inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families in development efforts. Also, it works to educate, support and empower persons with disabilities and their families to maximize their potentials. CCD coordinated CSOs campaign that led to the passage of the National Disability Act.