“What happens when an entire population group is absent from decision making forums?
I opine It makes it possible to forget about them. According to several scholars and academicians in public policy 2021, the people who are most affected by particular agenda should be made central when considerations are being done. This applies to both development and emergency consideration ]Sharon 2017[. that several studies have shown if this is not the norm it leads to poor decision making [Carolyn 2018, badger 2017]. COVID-19 has exposed inequalities in countries across the world, deepening the existing discrimination and marginalization experienced by persons with
disabilities. The pandemic constitutes a serious challenge in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and
the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the other hand, individuals not engaged in the public spaces are at best they are remembered later, and the response is retrofitted in some way to include them.
For instance, most African countries have not yet included concerns of persons with disabilities in their COVID-19 response mechanisms.
For example, no prioritization of the vaccine rolls out targeting persons with disabilities who are most vulnerable and most have preexisting conditions.
persons with disabilities are not represented in the national vaccine committees. Unfortunately, several research in 2020 showed that the majority of COVID-19 deaths were
persons with disabilities,
and persons with intellectual disabilities have been
up to six
times more likely to die than other persons.
The national Plans which have been launched absolutely kicks out this critical mass.
The response forms the disability sector seems to have been normalized despite it being a pandemic.
Why do persons with disabilities or organizations of persons with disabilities are left to beg by lobbing for what’s rightfully theirs?
When will governments in Africa acknowledged the disproportional impact of the pandemic on persons with disabilities?
It seems organizations of persons with disabilities have to double their efforts of advocacy and remind governments that persons with disabilities do exist ]UNCRPD article 2].
Additionally, there is inadequate literature and information specifically targeting persons with disabilities.
A closer look on the east African ministry of health websites tells it all.
How could this happen? How could the largest minority group in the continent, expected to be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, be completely forgotten and left unmentioned?
This is because persons with disabilities are not in the dinner table.
I affirm this is because decisions on how to include persons with disabilities have always been inherently political.
Join me on the disability sausage YouTube channel as we dig more on public policy matters.
The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.
Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.
Australian Chief Minister Award winner
“excellence of making inclusion happen”