The Center for Research and Development Alternatives (CREDA) has engaged persons with disabilities (PWDs) on access to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Participants from disability groups, which included the deaf, physical disability, blind and albinos, shared knowledge, and experiences on SRHR and GBV issues.
CREDA solicited information on the subjects from participants as well as challenges they faced in accessing services and seeking redress on SRHR and GBV.
The engagement was aimed at establishing a baseline to inform intervention strategies for the “Addressing barriers to violent-free SRHR services and the rights of young women and adolescent girls with disabilities in Northern Ghana” project.
The project is carried out under the Power to Youth project, implemented by Songtaba, Ghana SRHR Alliance, Norsaac and the Youth Advocacy Ghana.
Mr Abukari Iddrisu, Programmes Manager at CREDA, speaking during the engagement in Tamale on Saturday, said it was to find out about participants knowledge on SRHR and GBV as well as to ascertain if they utilitised available services.
He said data from the focus group engagement would inform the organisation’s plans for the succeeding phases of the project.
Some challenges outlined by the PWDs were the unavailability of interpreters at health care facilities, societal discrimination, and the lack of disability-friendly structures at public offices.
Madam Abubakari Sahadatu Nima, Northern Regional Vice President of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations said “Accessing SRHR services at hospitals is difficult for PWDs because the health care givers do not give us the needed attention.”
She emphasised that most health care givers treated PWDs unfairly as though disability was contagious.
Madam Sadiya Alimatu Mahama, Member of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf said the call for interpreters at hospitals must be given attention adding PWDs resorted to writing to facilitate communication with care givers.
Miss Abdul Rashid Rahama, Member of the Ghana Blind Union, expressed worry over how society intimidated PWDs appealing for disability-friendly structures at public places to make them accessible to PWDs.