GFD calls for inclusion of PWDs in emergency health care provision

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Health Disability Inclusion
Disability Inclusion

The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD), has called on stakeholders in the health sector to formulate policies that would promote disability inclusion in health care delivery during emergencies.

It said Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) were often excluded from health issues during national planning and delivery of health emergency preparedness and response, and advocated for critical steps to address the phenomenon.

Mr Kwame Mensah, Programmes Manager at GFD, was speaking to the Ghana News Agency, on the side lines at a workshop to engage some selected health professionals to discuss ways through which PWDs could be included in emergency health care delivery.

The engagement, organized by the GFD in Tamale, was further to equip participants with adequate skills to enhance their knowledge in providing quality health care services to PWDs in times of crisis such as COVID-19.

It was funded by the World Bank through the Ministry of Health, and brought together participants from the Northern and Savannah regions.

Participants were taken through the concept of disability, promoting disability-inclusive health care and principles underpinning disability inclusion in health facilities, among other topics.

Mr Mensah noted that “health issues of PWDs are often not prioritized, and with the outbreak of the COVID-19, these people do not get the needed support to access health care services in various facilities”.

He added that “during disasters and other emergencies, there are often limited resources available to provide disability-inclusive health care services, and that is worrying”.

The GDF Programmes Manager, therefore, called on stakeholders to ensure health needs of PWDs were integrated in national development plans to help achieve Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goal three.

Mr Mensah further appealed to authorities to empower PWDs with adequate information on emergency health issues, especially COVID-19 to help guard them from contacting the virus, adding “they are at a higher risk of being infected”.

Madam Georgina Mwooda, a Health Worker at the Bole District Hospital in the Savannah Region, told the GNA that, the workshop had enlightened her more on issues of PWDs, saying “with what I have learnt today, I will have attitudinal change towards PWDs and make sure I give them the maximum attention when they come for health care services”.

Other participants pledged their commitment to ensure they impart the knowledge they had acquired to other health professionals to give PWDs access to health care services without difficulties during emergencies.

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