By Ene Osang 0

A coalition women-led Disabled Persons Organisations (DPO): the Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), Advocacy for Women With Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI), Faecare Foundation and Haly Hope Foundation has called for an inclusive budget for Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) of Women and Girls With Disabilities (WGWD) in the country.

The coalition made the call Saturday during the closing ceremony of a two-day training workshop on the theme: “Priotizing inclusive budgeting for sexual and reproductive health rights of Persons With Disability (PWD’s) in Nigeria project which held at the Box Office, Central Area, Abuja.

Founder, AWWDI, Ms Patience Ogolo-Dickson said there was the need for practical solutions that would ensure the involvement of WGWD in the development of reproductive and sexual health services in all federal hospitals and primary health care centers across the nation.

According to Ogolo-Dickson, prioritizing an inclusive budgeting for sexual and reproductive health rights of PWDs would address the health challenges of Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s) and eliminate all forms of discrimination.

She therefore, called on government to adopt an enhanced budgetary system to enable them access medical facilities in Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) with sign language interpreters, training packages for health workers to provide reproductive and sexual health services to WGWD.

“The goal of the team is to ensure social inclusion, access to basic health care services and facilities and increased awareness about the health status of PWDs with special consideration for women and girls.’’

She decried the challenges faced by Women and Girls with Disabilities (WGWD), which includes negative attitude of health, access to information, education and services on reproductive health.

She further expressed concern over poor access to maternal health services for disabled women, which had forced them to seek inexperienced midwives to attend their needs.

“This has affected our health status a d so we also call for budget to develop comprehensive sexuality education programs and teaching resources, as well as training packages for health workers to provide reproductive and sexual health services for us,” she said.

Similarly, the Executive Director, Faecare Foundation Freky Andre-Essien, stressed the need for full implementation of the national policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights of PWD’s.

Andre-Essien said the policy would promote access to reproductive health rights and services, and change negative attitudes of the public and health profession, raise more awareness on their needs and rights.

“We call on the government, CSOs, development partners, organised private sector and the media to support the call for inclusive budgeting for sexual and reproductive health rights of PWD’s,” she said.

Source: blueprint

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