PWDS seek ac­ces­si­ble, sub­sidised health care

The Punch - - HEALTHWISE - Abio­dun Nejo, Ado Ek­iti

PER­SONS liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties in Ek­iti State have called on the state gov­ern­ment to step up ef­forts to en­able them to have ac­cess to health care at a sub­sidised rate.

The Sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Joint Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties in Ek­iti State, Mr Funso ola­jide, who lamented un­ac­cept­able treat­ments PWDS still con­tended with at med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties in the state, said the is­sue of dis­abil­ity should move from char­ity model to hu­man rights model.

ola­jide, who spoke in Ado Ek­iti dur­ing a stake­hold­ers’ fo­rum tagged, ‘Pro­mot­ing the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Rights of PWDS in Nige­ria’, or­gan­ised by the Cen­tre for Cit­i­zens with Dis­abil­i­ties, said med­i­cal care should be sub­sided for PWDS.

The CCD Se­nior Pro­grammes Of­fi­cer, Mr Kola Ogun­biyi, said the fol­low-up re­search con­ducted in the state on the level of aware­ness on the rights of PWDS in Ek­iti State and their ac­ces­si­bil­ity to health care showed was a lit­tle im­prove­ment from what it was in 2018.

“There is the need to make pro­vi­sions for ramps in hos­pi­tals be­cause ac­ces­si­bil­ity is be­yond go­ing to the hos­pi­tal, a doc­tor at­tends to you or you can see the nurse - are you able to ac­cess the hos­pi­tal at all? We want to see that ramps are built in ma­jor hos­pi­tals. We want to see that sign lan­guage in­ter­preters are en­gaged or em­ployed at the ma­jor hos­pi­tals.

“Tech­nol­ogy has made it so easy now that even if they are think­ing it will be ex­pen­sive to have so many peo­ple em­ployed as sign lan­guage in­ter­preters, they can buy apps that would make a med­i­cal doc­tor com­mu­ni­cate eas­ily with hear­ing-im­paired per­sons with­out any dif­fi­culty,” Ogun­biyi said.

he added that Ek­iti State could take the lead in the health sec­tor as re­gards PWDS, say­ing the cen­tre was will­ing to en­gage the state gov­ern­ment to make sign in­ter­preter de­vice avail­able and ac­ces­si­ble to PWDS.

The Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary, Of­fice of Dis­abil­ity Af­fairs, Dr Ay­o­dele Ibikunle, as­sured the PWDS of bet­ter times ahead, say­ing the gover­nor has approved a re­view of the dis­crim­i­na­tion against PWDS (Pro­hi­bi­tion) Act 2018 by the state house of Assem­bly for do­mes­ti­ca­tion.

Also, the State Com­mis­sioner for In­for­ma­tion, Mr Muyiwa olu­milua, said that be­yond the leg­is­la­tion, he would col­lab­o­rate with the Com­mis­sioner for health, Dr Mo­jisola Yaya-ko­lade, to con­vene a stake­hold­ers’ meet­ing for a com­pre­hen­sive work­ing re­port to the gover­nor.

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