Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director of CCD, speaking from virtual communication server-point, said that the virtual workshop was a response to enhance COVID-19 behavioral change among Nigerians with disabilities as the virus did not discriminate.
Anyaele said that when disasters occurred, it was persons with disabilities that bore the greatest pains and suffering arising from it.
“During the total lockdown in Nigeria, we witnessed how persons with disabilities were left behind by governments at the state and national level. It is by the grace of God that many of us with disabilities are still living today.
“It is disheartening that disability data on health and development issues does not matter to people in governments in Nigeria.
“We are also concerned that guidelines on ease of lockdown for different sector 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 in order to guide our response to our clusters and communities,’’ he said.
He added that governments should apply disability sensitive approach in community sensitisation on COVID-19.
“On Preventive Measures against Contracting COVID-19’’; Dr Ejike Oji, Chairman, Medical Sub-committee FCT Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19, urged PWDs to abide by NCDC directives on the pandemic as well as outlined symptoms and mode of infection.
“Some of the preventive measures to include washing hands regularly with soap under running water, maintainOnG good physical distancing, sneeze in tissues and dispose properly or use your elbow and to use alcohol-based sanitisers always.
“The virus is at the stage of community transmission in the country and PWDs should be extra careful to avoid infection.
“Also, apart from government interventions, PWDs should take responsibility by sanitising their assistive devices, make sure their helpers put on face mask, as well as avoid crowded places,’’ Oji said.
He also revealed that the Federal and state governments had made provision for easy accessibility of PWDs to most of the isolation and treatment centres across the country.
Mr Gab Nnamani, President, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Enugu State, appreciated CCD for building capacity of PWDs on virtual communication in this pandemic era and its commitment to wellbeing and welfare of PWDs.
Nnamani, who is also one of the participants, said that the virtual workshop was so enriching and had exposed him to unknown knowledge about the virus and its contagious nature.
“The virtual workshop has been a rewarding and innovative experience that exposed issues on COVID-19 further,’’ he said.
A participant, Mr Gideon Eze, who is a visually impaired, thanked CCD and its partners for such a wonderful workshop that exposed PWDs on the international standard for modern conferences and workshops.
Eze however, called on government at all levels to do more to ease the hardship on PWDs due to the lockdown necessitated by measures to check spread of COVID-19.
The virtual workshop, which was organized by CCD partnering Action Aid and funded by UKAID, is part of response on COVID-19 and persons with disabilities in the project on Strengthening Citizens Resistance against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C).
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)