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PWDs advocate inclusive budget for access to medical facilities in PHCs



Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) on Friday called on government to adopt an enhanced budgetary system to enable them to access medical facilities in Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs).

Nigeria News Agency reports that the PWDs made the call under a coalition of four women with disabilities led organisations, while addressing media in Abuja.

The organisations include; Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), Faecare Foundation, Haly Hope Foundation and Advocacy for Women With Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI)

The Founder of AWWDI, Ms Patience Ogolo-Dickson, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, said that prioritising inclusive budgeting for sexual and reproductive health rights of PWDs would address their health challenges and eliminate all forms of discrimination against them.

Ogolo-Dickson said “the goal of the team is to ensure social inclusion, access to basic healthcare services and facilities and increased awareness about the health status of PWDs with special consideration for women and girls.’’

She decried the challenges faced by Women and Girls with Disabilities (WGWD), which include negative attitude to health, access to information, education and services on reproductive health.

The group founder also expressed concern over poor access to maternal health services for disabled women, which forced them to seek inexperienced midwives to attend to their needs, which she said had affected their health status.

She, therefore, stressed the need for a budget that would ensure access to medical facilities in PHCs with sign language interpreters, training packages for health workers to provide reproductive and sexual health services to WGWD.

She also called for a budget to develop comprehensive sexuality education programmes and teaching resources, as well as training packages for health workers to provide reproductive and sexual health services for WGWD.

Also, Freky Andre-Essien, the Executive Director, Faecare Foundation, stressed the need for full implementation of the national policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights of persons with disabilities.

Andre-Essien said that the policy would promote access to reproductive health rights and services for PWDs, change negative attitudes of the public and health profession, raise more awareness on their needs and rights.

She, therefore, urged government, development partners, organised private sector and the media to support the call for inclusive budgeting for sexual and reproductive health rights of PWDs.

Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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