Home Disability News PWDs in Ekiti seek free healthcare

PWDs in Ekiti seek free healthcare

by Inclusive News Network
Published: Last Updated on

The Director, Justice, Development and Peace Initiative of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, Rev. Fr Emmanuel Akingbade, has urged the federal and state governments to hearken to the needs of persons with disabilities with a view to respecting their constitutional rights and promoting inclusivity.

Akingbade said that the needs of the PWDs, as shown in their demands, included access to free medical care, free education in public schools and as well conducive environment devoid of discrimination.

The cleric spoke in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Wednesday during the validation process of the Citizens Agenda, which is focused on what the PWDs want the government to do for them, a project organized by JDPI in partnership with the Misereor of Germany.

In attendance under the aegis of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities were members from persons with physical disability cluster, visually-impaired cluster, deaf cluster and the Albinism cluster.

Speaking on Tuesday, Rev Akingbade said, “Today’ meeting is for us to consolidate on the earlier conversations we have had with them. We interacted with the PWDs on what they would want the government to do for them with regard to the rights enshrined in the law, Discrimination against PWDs Prohibition Act (2018) and the Discrimination against PWDs Prohibition Law, Ekiti State (2020).

“Today, we have been able to validate citizens’ agenda as affecting PWDs. We administered questionnaires first to 1,702 persons from the 16 local governments in Ekiti State, 73 of them were PWDs and secondly, we interviewed 337 persons, 47 of whom were PWDs.

“The conversation is very successful because we have been able to get from the PWDs that free healthcare is an area that needs attention for them. It is zero per cent free healthcare.

“Education is another area that the government needs also to pay attention to. They give kudos to the government with regards to free education up to secondary schools in special schools, but what happens to PWDs in other public schools, government equally needs to pay attention to this”.

On participation in politics, the cleric said that although the PWDs praised the government and people of Ekiti State for giving them the opportunity to vote during elections, they have expressed readiness to contest elections and requested that “we should also vote for them when they come out”.

The JDPI director, who said that the PWDs’ experiences had not been palatable in public places owing to accessibility problems, said, “Accessibility of public premises and buildings is a particular right for physically challenged persons and virtually impaired persons. This is also another red area where attention is needed.

“We have been able to look at these, we will be urging all of us to continue to treat PWDs as human beings like usual and accord them their rights,” Akingbade said.

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