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Healthcare Services Should Include People With Disabilities, Says Penzin

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Healthcare Services Should Include People With Disabilities, Says Penzin

By Halima ABDULKADIRI

In order to maintain equal treatment devoid of marginalization, Healthcare Services should include people with disabilities.

A public health researcher and senior programme manager at Sightsavers, Dr Selben Penzin, made this statement, frowning at how people with disabilities experience disadvantages when it comes to accessing healthcare resulting in adverse socio-economic outcomes and high rates of poverty than the general population.

According to him, in Nigeria, there are over 29 million people living with disabilities, and it is estimated that nine out of ten Nigerians with disabilities live in poverty.

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He added that despite the millions of persons living with disabilities in the country, many public buildings have no wheelchair, internal steps, adequate bathroom facilities and accessible parking areas.

He however advised Heath workers to ensure that persons with disabilities were included in everyday activities; encouraging them to have roles similar to their peers who do not have a disability.

He further stated that In 2019, the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, was signed into law, some of which included the right to employment, education, health and accessibility of physical structure.

“Organisations should make sure they gather the data, evidence and learnings which emerge from their initiative. Photographs make great evidence, so they should ensure they gather the evidence at every stage. It is key to note that learnings can come from unexpected sources, disability organisation representatives, hospital staff, or even facility users.”

He added that Nigeria had made some progress towards achieving a disability-inclusive society by passing the National Disability Act which has been domesticated in some of the 36 states in the country – Plateau, Ekiti, Lagos, Bauchi and Kaduna.

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