NGO decries absence of data, discrimination against persons with disabilities in Kogi
A Non-Governmental Organization
Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative, (AWWDI) has decried the absence of data and high level of discrimination against persons with disabilities in Kogi State.
The programme Manager, of AWWDI
Kolawole Jayeoba disclosed this on Wednesday at a strategic training of Community Health Care Workers on Sexual and reproductive health right of Women and Girl with disabilities in Kogi State held in Lokoja.
While noting that persons with disabilities, especially Women and Girls should be given proper care in the society, Jayeoba opined that, there is need for Nigerians to change their mind set on the potential and capacity of this set of people to contribute their own quota for national development.
The programme officer, however, identified poverty, heath, gender based violence as some of the problem people with disabilities are facing in the Country adding that, they should have access to good health facilities, job opportunities and good working environment.
He said ” Data play critical role in decision making and budgeting. How can a State Government budget for a particular set of people that they don’t know how many they are? The Government need to find out how many persons with disability, and should have a disability component that we get the attention this special people.
“It is not just to ask whether the person is a person with disability, but to know the type of disability. So when it comes to decision making, they will know how many person with disabilities, those that are blind, albino who have visited the hospital for medical attention.This will help in making critical decision that will benefit the public at large, not only for the state, even the international community.
“It will help the international community to know the areas in which the Government is doing well and the areas in which the Government needs support. My word of encouragement for every women and girls with disability is to know that they are not forgotten.
“We also want to encourage them to come out from their shelf, and then break the barrier. They should work on themselves, build their self-esteem and also be their brother’s keeper” he stated.
He also frowned at the nonchalant attitude of some health workers to Women with disability in Kogi State adding that, all hand must be on deck to address this societal menace.
Jayeoba, however, stressed the need for the Government of Kogi State to give a listening ear to the community of women and girls with disability, adding that, they should be involved in decision making and not being made a tool for campaign during electioneering period.
” Enough of using persons with disability as a decoration in the course of election. It has come to our notice that some persons vying for political office will take a snap shot with some persons on a wheelchair just for political gains. This set of individuals should be given a sense of belonging in our society by including them in policies and program that would benefit their interest and the entire State.
He maintained that, the media plays a major role in shaping the thoughts, mind, and attitude of the public as it concerns every women and girls with disability in Nigeria.