The Center for Citizen with Disabilities, CCD, has on Monday, accused the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic of neglecting disabled citizens in the distribution of palliatives and other relief materials.
The group, in a press statement that was signed by its Executive Director, Mr. David Anyaele, said it was worried that more than 25 million persons with disabilities in Nigeria, are dying of hunger.
Describing disabled citizens in the country as “one of the most excluded groups in our society”, the group, noted that “they are among the hardest hit in this crisis in terms of health and economic impact”.
“This global crisis of COVID-19 is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing the extent of exclusion and highlighting that work on disability inclusion has not been addressed by the Nigeria government.
“In view of the current situation, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities joins the global call for an integrated approach that will ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind in COVID-19 response and recovery.
“As the most vulnerable group, CCD calls for prioritizing disability issues at the centre of the response, ensuring inclusion and participation of PWDs during planning and implementation.
“Governments, donors, and other actors need to establish mechanisms to monitor investments to ensure it is reaching persons with disabilities. Disaggregating data by disability is key to ensure accountability.
‘We also call on PTF on Covid-19 pandemic to mandate National Centre for Disease Control to create a dedicated hotline, ambulances, and transport facilities for persons with disabilities to enable them access information and routine medical checkups.
“The challenge of hunger in disability communities is getting worst by the day, as such priority attention is needed on access to food and other palliatives to ensure they are not left behind in the distribution of relief materials”, the group added.