By Esther Atani, The Sight News
ABUJA: Based on the World Report on Disability in 2011, approximately 20 million Nigerians have one disability or the other with 13 million of the affected number being women and girls.
However, these Persons With Disabilities are often underserved in terms of their reproductive and sexual health needs, facing barriers such as discrimination, human rights abuse and inaccessible healthcare.
Making this known, a Director from the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Christopher Ugboko, at a Stakeholders’ Meeting for the implementation of the National Policy on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for persons with disabilities (PWDs), called on the federal government to cease ignoring her responsibilities to Persons With Disabilities(PWDs).
The meeting which held in Abuja on the 28th and 29th of October, was to review and validate a 5-year strategic plan for the implementation of the Disability Rights Act with an emphasis on women and girls with disabilities.
Implementation of the policy, he said, will be tangible proof of Nigeria’s commitment to providing integrated healthcare services to all Nigerians and restore dignity to PWDs in the country.
Dr. Christopher, expressed disappointment over the lack of training and emotional intelligence exhibited by health workers when dealing with persons with disabilities at healthcare centres.
Also speaking,the Executive Director, Disability Rights Advocacy Center (DRAC) Mrs. Irene Patrick-Ogbogu, expressed appreciation to representatives from the federal and state ministries of health, the media and civil society organizations and other stakeholders present at the meeting and called for continuous collaborative efforts until the Disability Right Act is implemented.
The stakeholder’s meeting which was held to review the 5-year strategic plan for the implementation of the Disability Rights Act was organized by the Disability Rights Advocacy Centre, supported by the Federal Ministry of Health and funded by Christoffel Blinden-Mission (CBM).