Voice Ghana, a disability-focused Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called on the government to prioritise the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination for People With Disabilities (PWDs), including people with mental health conditions.
It said the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service must ensure that the vaccination exercises nationwide were held at accessible venues and where necessary, sign language interpretation arrangements were made to foster full participation by all categories of disability.
Mr Francis Asong, Executive Director of the Organisation, made the call in a statement to mark the 2021 International Day of People With Disabilities, which coincided with the National Farmers’ Day celebrations.
The statement said, “we see disability inclusion as very essential for health system planning, development, and decision making in this critical time.”
It bemoaned the challenges and barriers being faced by people with disabilities, including people with mental health conditions, especially during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The statement called on all and sundry, especially people with disabilities, including people with mental health conditions from age 15 and their families and caregivers to take advantage of the vaccination exercise and get themselves vaccinated against the disease.
The global Day is on the theme: “Leadership and Participation of Persons With Disabilities toward an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”
The statement urged the public, political leadership, traditional authorities, and religious organisations to make conscious efforts in fostering an inclusive environment for people with disabilities to enable them take up leadership and decision-making roles in all spheres of society and community life.
“We also call on the general public to start using positive non-discriminatory languages for people with disabilities, including people with mental health conditions, and to relate with them with dignity and respect.
The statement also congratulated farmers and fishermen and award winners at all levels. -GNA