By Ben A Sako
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities , today Friday held a virtual meeting for heads of clusters of different associations of people living with disabilities.
The meeting was for both Kano and Kaduna states and had a resource person in Dr Ejike Orji.
In his opening remark, David O. Anyaele, Executive Director, CCD said that “I’m pleased to welcome you to this Webinar on Covid-19 and Nigerians with Disabilities. Among us for this webinar are States Chairmen of Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities (CCD) from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. I must appreciate our partners Action Aid, and funder UKAID for supporting this event”.
“This event is part of our response on Covid-19 pandemic and persons with disabilities in our project State on Strengthening Citizens Resistance against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) in Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, Kano, Kaduna, and Lagos States. The goal to increase citizen’s capacity to resist and fight acts of corruption”.
“This Covid-19 response is to enhance Covid-19 Behavioral Change among Nigerians with Disabilities as the virus does not discriminate”.
“The panic created by the novel Corona virus – Covid-19 across the world starting from Wuhan, China led to total lock dawn of nations leading to stay at home for more than 4.5 billion persons worldwide. As at today, there is 5,868,939 confirmed cases and 355,951 deaths worldwide. Here in Nigeria, 8,915 confirmed cases with 259 deaths”.
“When disaster occur, it is persons with disabilities that bears the greatest pains and suffering arising from it. During the total lockdown in Nigeria, we witness how persons with disabilities were left behind by governments at the State and national level. It is by the grace of God that many of us with disabilities are still living today”.
“We are worried that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is yet to inform us how many confirmed cases persons with disabilities with Covid-19. It is disheartening that disability data on health and development issues does not matter to people in governments in Nigeria”.
“We are also concerned that guidelines on ease of lockdown for different sector of economy and social sectors are silent on measures to improve equal opportunities for persons with disabilities “.
“Therefore, as leaders of persons with disabilities, it becomes imperative for us to deepen our knowledge on Covid-19 in orders to guide our response to our clusters and communities”.
The resource person , Dr Ejike Oji, Chairman medical sub committee FCT Ministerial Expert advisory committee on covid-19, in his presentation highlighted 4 approaches to overcoming the virus he said “one must look at the virus and tell it I don’t understanding you” , he said in doing so you won’t become familiar with the virus.
Secondly he also said one must take the signs and information about the disease serious.
He went further to state one must apply common sense and lastly follow all the preventive measures with all seriousness.
While address questions from participants , he said prolong use of facemask is not advisable and should only be encouraged when one is not sure of prevention or when one fears been exposed, he address the exchange of cash as a means of transmission and advice that all prevention measures should apply when handling of cash.
For person with spinal cord injuries or those who uses wheel chairs ,he emphasis the compulsory use of face mask and frequent washing of hands.
He also encourage the consumption of anything one feels boast his immune system ,he also dismissed the call for use of Gaelic ,ginger as cure for covid 19.
In his words “scientifically it is not proven but anything you can consume to boast your immune system, please go ahead”.
The virtual meeting lasted for over 2hrs ,giving the vote of thanks Mr Anyaele Call on governments at the State and Federal levels to apply disability sensitive approach in community mobilization and sensitization on Covid-19.