The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) has called on the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to provide details of the support intended for persons with disability as Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi observe a partial lockdown to curb the spread of the Coronavirus disease.
At a press briefing by the Ministry of Information on 1st April 2020 the Minister for Gender, Children and social protection, Cynthia Morrison announced plans by government to support over 15,000 persons with disability and some vulnerable persons including head porters also known as “kayeye”.
However, the GFD in a press release was sceptical about the plan and questioned government’s supposed database on the vulnerable and persons living with disability.
According to GFD, government has failed to reach out to the Federation or its members to offer any form of help.
“Persons with disabilities are asking if they have been catered for at all in government’s emergency-response plan. What kind of activities or support system is available for persons with disabilities? People with disabilities are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to barriers in accessing preventive information and hygiene, reliance on physical contact with the environment or support persons, as well as respiratory conditions caused by certain impairments. Information about infection mitigating tips, public restriction plans, and the services offered in this critical moment are not accessible and available to all categories of persons with disabilities.”
The statement called on government to live up to expectation and to find innovative ways of reaching its members with vital information in these times.
“By this press release, we want to remind government of its responsibility to ensure that proper support is given to persons with disabilities to meet their daily living requirements, including access to food, housing and quality healthcare. We also call on the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection to give us the details of the support intended for persons with disabilities.”
We call on government to use the regular media briefing sessions organized by the Ministry of Information to tell Ghanaians including persons with disabilities about specific actions taken to promote and protect persons with disabilities that will be more assuring” the statement said.
The Gender Ministry has provided housing and catering for some 15,000 head porters in their stay at an undisclosed location in Accra.
This is part of government’s support for the deprived and vulnerable persons as the country confronts the Coronavirus pandemic.
The statement added that “GFD assures government of its readiness to support in mitigating COVID-19 in Ghana. With GFD’s branches at national and regional levels as well as in over 236 districts in Ghana we are ready to provide technical support on disability issues all levels and also support in practical identification of persons with disabilities in their communities.”