Open letter to the silent disability sector on Covid
By Mugambi Paul and
persons with disabilities are harshly affected and left behind even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. This is affirmed by the lack of representation at the national response team and also national vaccination team.
Prior to this, they constantly faced
barriers to equally participate in society. The pandemic has rapidly accelerated multiple layers of barriers, due to a lack of accessible, critical, and
timely information to guide us in taking necessary precautions to seek immediate help in cases of emergencies. No existing fact sheets or information where we can know more about the virus.
Non visual access seems to rule the air waves.
This is affirmed by body of research by [IDA 2020, HI 2020 LCI 2020]
Lack of access to education opportunities
contributes to the vulnerability to the crisis due to lack of understanding of medical terms used in public advisories, furthering gaps to proactively
take action. The according to ILO 2021 majority of persons with disabilities are unemployed, poor, live-in densely populated areas like slums with extreme living conditions. This escalates their exposure and raises
Care givers don’t know what to buy first, food or medication of the children with disabilities!
This is to say poverty continues to bite wholesomely
The last time we had letters were written to ask for meeting!
Corona continues to hit back strongly while you are in board room meetings. Do you know Persons with disabilities need you now?
The challenges they faced and are still facing, are lessons learned presenting opportunities for us all to partner up, redefine, to build back better in
every aspect that’s imperative for human diversity to thrive. Stakeholders in the ministry of health, disability sector must:
•read the uncrpd in conjunction with article 10 of the Kenyan constitution on matter public participation and article on right to health.
This is to say they should Ensure meaningful consultation with organizations of persons with disabilities and active participation of persons with disabilities across the Covid project
cycle phases of the COVID-19 response and recovery, DRR, health, and well-being hereafter. Stakeholders should also Ensure mainstreaming of disability Inclusion beyond COVID-19 response and recovery, through disability analysis and integration of the preconditions
of Disability Inclusion
moreover, Establish accountability mechanisms through developing disability disaggregated monitoring and evaluation indicators towards development justice across
all sectors and levels. This is in reference to county and national levels.
Additionally, Ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities in livelihood and economic recovery including access to employment, education, social protection, and capacity-building opportunities.
• Ensure all local, national, and regional publications and materials reflect disability disaggregated data to monitor current and future progress including
the 2021 SDG Progress Report.
All in all
Inclusion of persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 response and recovery and beyond is a vital part of achieving the pledge to leave no one behind.
Is this much to ask?
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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”