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Survey says UATH most accessible to PWDs

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A survey by the Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC) has identified the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) as the most accessible health facility in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for Persons With Disability (PWDs) and Women and Girls with Disabilities (WGWDs).

This is contained in a 2018 report on: “A Pilot Accessibility Audit on Health, Social and Criminal Justice Services’’, conducted in the FCT and in Mararaba, Nasarawa State.

Ms Irene Ogbogu, the Executive Director, DRAC, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday that the report was conducted by the centre with the support of Christoffel Bliden Mission (CBM), a UK NGO.

According to her, the UATH was most accessible to PWDs and WGWDs with a 72 per cent physical accessibility rate.

The study revealed that Bwari General Hospital, Garki Specialist Clinic, Wuse District Hospital and Gwagwalada Township Clinic followed with 50 per cent physical accessibility rate each.

“The remaining health facilities fall below 50 per cent physical accessibility rates.

“Amaco Clinic Mararaba and Kuje Health Care 3 ranked the least accessible health facilities audited in the study with a 12. 5 per cent physical accessibility,’’ it said.

It showed that out of the 14 health facilities audited, only five have physical accessibility rate of 50 per cent and above, while the other eight did not have up to 50 per cent physical accessibility rate.

“Bearing in mind that at least 90 per cent of the facilities’ physical accessibility variables need to be in place in order to afford accessibility levels of facilities, one can then say that majority of healthcare facilities are not accessible to PWDs and WGWDs,’’ it said.

The study revealed instructively that of all the healthcare facilities audited, none of the facilities toilets are accessible to neither PWDs nor WGWDs.

It said that such had implications as access to toilet facilities is a major determinant in making the decision to visit a building or not by PWDs and WGWDs.

It stated that with the poor physical accessibility rates of health facilities, there was a clear picture of the bleak prospects of WGWDs in accessing quality care.

The study further revealed that social welfare service department, courts and police stations that were audited did not meet the basic requirements for physical accessibility of PWDs.

“The Abaji and Women Friendly Initiative in Kuje each has 37.5 per cent physical accessibility rate, while the others fall below 35 per cent physical accessibility rate.

“The Divisional Police Station in Abacha road, Mararaba, had the highest score of 31 per cent, but it still falls below bar in terms of disability access.

“The court most physically accessible to PWDs and WGWDs is the Magistrate Court, Abaji, with 44 per cent accessibility level, followed by Upper Grade 1 Area Court, Karu, with 31 per cent accessibility level,’’ the report read in part.

The study proffered concerted advocacy which must be directed to building authorities to ensure strict compliance with building codes in order to ensure that the principles of universal designs are adopted.

According to it, there is a need for staff in the three focus services to undergo intense training on Disability Inclusive Service Delivery (DISD), as it will go a long way in promoting access of WGWDs to service.

This, it said, will reduce the pregnancy of negative attitude amongst service providers toward PWDs and WGWDs.

NNN reports that the study was not focused on facilities whether government or private owned but on facilities that, through their mandates, should be providing such services, such as NGOs and relevant MDAs.

© 2019 NNN NEWS NIGERIA. EDITOR@NNN.COM.NG