Group Seeks More Interventions for PWDs in Education, Healthcare

Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekit

Justice Development and Peace Initiative (JDPI) of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti has called on the Ekiti State Government to intervene in the needs of People With Disabilities (PWDs) in the areas of education, healthcare and accessibility to public buildings.

The group made the call yesterday in Ado Ekiti at a one-day meeting with PWDs and other stakeholders organised by JDPI with support from Miseror IHR Hilfswerk.

According to the JDPI Director in Ekiti State, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Akingbade, the PWDs during the validation for Citizens Agenda sought government’s intervention to end the plights of its members in the state.

He noted that the PWDs hailed the state government for the provision of free education in secondary schools but demanded more in healthcare and accessibility to public buildings.

“Today’s meeting is for PWDs within the context of their right. This is not the first time we are meeting with them; this meeting is for us to consolidate with early conversations we have had with them.

“Today we have been able to validate citizens’ agenda as affecting PWDs. We administered questionnaires first to 172 persons in Ekiti State from the 16 local government areas and 78 was PWDs. “Secondly, we carry out interviews with 337 persons, 47 were PWDs, and so we have started the process of validation of citizens agenda which is basically to ask people on what government can do for them.

“The meeting today was to interact with them on what they want government to do for them with regards to the rights enshrined in the law, Persons With Disabilities Prohibition Act 2018 and Law for the Ekiti State 2020.

“To the glory of God, the conversation has been very successful. We have been able to get from the PWDs that free healthcare is an area that needs attention for them-for them it is zero percent and again education is another area that the government also needs to pay attention to.

“They gave kudos to government for free education up to the secondary schools in special schools. So what happened to PWDs in other public schools? The government equally needs to pay attention to this.

“They also gave kudos to the government as regards participation in people and also the people of Ekiti State for allowing them to come out to vote and they are prepared to ask for our votes when they come out for positions.

“Accessibility of public premises and building which is a particular right for physically-challenged people, visual impaired and hearing impaired is also another area that is a red area because attention is needed.

“For them their experiences have not been very palatable for example the banks, public places, and no consideration for PWDs, no facilities for PWDs, and so we have been able to look at this and will be urging all of us to treat PWDs like human beings like us and give them their due rights,” he stated.

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