Call for a disability inclusive cholera response program

Filed under: Health & Nutrition,Special Comments |
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I call upon the Ministry of Health, Lusaka City Council and the Joint Defense Forces to ensure that the measures that they have laid out to prevent the outbreak of Cholera are sensitive to diversity and fabric that exits within our community. Our communities have Persons with Disabilities and they must be part of the process. I appreciate the efforts that the national response that government has put in place to overcome this outbreak.

My concerns are the following

  1. I hope that Informational Educational and Communication materials and messages that are been run on the Print and Electronic Media are sensitive to the needs of the Deaf, blind, Cognitive and Intellectual disability. The public health messages must have closed captions and sign language Interpreter.
  2. The Mass distribution of chlorine will be ensuring that its inclusive and involves members of disabled people organization. This will ensure that households and individuals with disabilities will be captured in the process
  3. Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities who out in the streets and eat from the rubbish bins must be taken care of as they are Zambians too and this condition will not spare them.

A response that will not be sensitive to needs and challenges that particularly persons with disabilities who are equally Zambians would leave them vulnerable to this outbreak. Statistics and data has shown that there is a close association between disability and poverty, and most persons with disabilities in Lusaka and other urban areas live in our high-density compounds where sanitary conditions are poor.

 

Mwiya katukula Muya

Disability and social Development Specialist

Based in New York (Syracuse University, USA)

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