People living with disabilities (PLWDs) in Ekiti have decried the withdrawal of health personnel in their special schools in the state.
Consequently, Mr Funso Olajide, Secretary, Joint National Association of People With Disabilities (JONAPWD), has appealed to Gov. Kayode Fayemi to return the health personnel back to the schools to restore their hope of getting better healthcare services.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Olajide made the appeal during a one-day sensitisation programme on “Awareness on Disability Issues and Accessibility of Health Care Services by Persons with Disabilities in Ekiti.”
also reports that the programme was organised by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a non- governmental organisation, on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti.
Olajide said that the withdrawal of the health personnel might cause hardship for the students, especially if government refused to make alternative arrangement.
The JONAPWD secretary advocated for a paradigm shift from the current charity model to the human rights model in the handling of access to healthcare services by the PWDs.
Speaking with newsmen, the Senior Programme Officer of CCD, Mr Kola Ogunbiyi, advocated for the engagement of “sign language interpreters” in health facilities, not only in Ekiti but in Nigeria generally.
Ogunbiyi said that accessibility to healthcare services by PLWDs was beyond going to the hospitals, adding that such services must be accessed without any barrier.
“Our report in December 2018 shows that the level of awareness of the rights of PLWDs in Ekiti and their accessibility to healthcare services is very low; that was the condition when we carried out the research in July 2018.
“A follow-up research in 2019, however, showed that there is a little improvement from what it was; this shows that this government is human rights compliant and that there is room for improvement and hope for our members.
“However, there is the need to make provisions for rams in major hospitals in the state because accessibility is beyond going to the hospital and being attended to by doctors.
“Are you able to access the hospitals without any barrier? That is the question. Therefore, we want to see that government this facility in major hospitals in the state.
“Also, sound language interpreters should be engaged to enable doctors communicate easily with hearing impaired patients without any difficulty, “Ogunbiyi said.
Earlier in his goodwill message, the state Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Values Orientation, Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, restated the present administration’s commitment to improving the wellbeing of PLWDs in the state.
“I can assure you that government is committed to better the lots of PLWDs through its various programmes and policies.
“On the issue of withdrawal of health personnel at the special schools, I can assure you that government will do something, in no distant time, to resolve it,” Olumilua assured.
reports that the programme was attended by different categories of people living with disabilities in Ekiti.
Edited by Remi Koleoso and ‘Wale Sadeeq
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