Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a non-governmental organisation, has appealed to government at all levels to consider plight of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in their planning as number of positive cases of Coronavirus was increasing.
The Executive Director, CCD, Mr David Anyaele, made the appeal in his remarks at the sensitisation of States Chairmen of Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities via virtual conference on Friday.
Anyaele said that the sensitisation was to equip leaders of PWDs with knowledge and precautionary measures to stay safe during this period of the pandemic, stressing that the Coronavirus does not discriminate.
He said that when disaster occurred, it was persons with disabilities that bore the greatest pain and suffering arising from such disaster.
The executive director added that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), had yet to inform the public of how many confirmed cases of COVID-19 involved persons with disabilities.
“When disaster occurs, it is persons with disabilities that bear the greatest pain and suffering arising from it.
“During the total lockdown in Nigeria, we witnessed how persons with disabilities were left behind by government.
“It is by the grace of God that many of us with disabilities are still living today.
“We are worried that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is yet to inform us how many confirmed cases of persons with disabilities with COVID-19.
“It is also disheartening that disability data on health and development issues does not matter to people.
“We are also concerned that guidelines on ease of lockdown for different sectors of economy and social sectors are silent on measures to improve equal opportunities for persons with disabilities.
“Therefore, as leaders of persons with disabilities, it becomes imperative for us to deepen our knowledge on COVID-19 to guide our response to our clusters and communities.
“CCD commits to capacity building of persons with disabilities on behavourial change on COVID-19 and supports state systems on response and recovery,” Anyaele said.
He said that CCD was sensitising no fewer than 100 PWDs leaders across the country and also building capacity of PWDs on virtual communication in this pandemic period.
Anyaele expressed appreciation to the centre’s partners, ActionAid, and funder UKaid, for their support.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that participants at the virtual conference expressed appreciation to the CCD for always standing up for persons with disabilities in the country.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Donald Ugwu (NAN)