The Lagos State government has promised to provide a safe space for People with disability and access to rehabilitation services as well as support system to prevent drug abuse.
The state is assuring people with disabilities in the state of optimal attention to their well-being that will enable them excell in their endeavours. At a Town Hall meeting with cluster group on ‘Healthcare Services and Menace of Drug Abuse among the People with Disability in Lagos State, the Commissioner for Youth And Social Development, Mr. Mobolaji Ogunlende said that the responsibility of the society is to ensure that healthcare is inclusive, equitable, and tailored to the unique needs of people with disabilities.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Youth Mobilization, Mr Alabi Oladimeji explained that it is important to recognize the fundamental rights of every individual, regardless of their abilities and to allow them access to quality healthcare services.
Ogunlende maintained that efforts must be geared towards addressing the existing barriers that impede access to healthcare for people with disabilities, stressing that the government will continue to address the menace of drug abuse among people with disabilities.
“The menace of drug abuse among people with disabilities cannot be ignored. The vulnerabilities faced by individuals with disabilities make them particularly vulnerable to substance abuse, often as a means of coping with pain, isolation, or other challenges. It is imperative that we implement preventive measures and establish support systems to address this issue effectively.
“Education and awareness play a vital role in combating drug abuse. By conducting targeted campaigns and workshops, we can disseminate information about the risks associated with substance abuse, equip individuals with coping mechanisms, and empower them to make informed decisions.”
The General Manager Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs, LASODA, Mrs Adenike Oyetunde-Lawal said the collaborations between various stakeholders is key to achieving comprehensive and sustainable improvements in healthcare services for people with disabilities.
She added that the programme was key to addressing an epidemic of drug abuse related issues among People with Disabilities while restating the commitment of the Lagos state government to reduce the case of drug abuse among the challenged individuals to the least minimum.
According to her “It’s not a conversation that we can shy away from, people abuse alcohol, abuse smoking regular cigarettes and it is eating up lungs and killing them inside. So we have a problem on our hands and we are hoping that through these engagement we will be able to equip you with the necessary tools that you can use to navigate.
“I am very optimistic that our deliberations will yield fantastic results and will translate into effective and efficient approaches which is most paramount for me, so that we mark successes by ourselves and whatever parameters that we have set together as a group.”
Some of the participants enjoined parents to pay adequate attention to their children while the agency must continue to engage the families to know sensitise them on how to manage children particularly facing challenges at home.
They all agreed that the need to address the challenges faced by people with disabilities in accessing healthcare services and combatting drug abuse is key in raising awareness about drug abuse in Lagos State.
They also commended the Lagos State government for taking proactive and sustainable measures in tackling the menace.