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Care for the physically challenged

As in many countries around the world, children with disabilities in Nigeria are hindered from reaching their full potentials. Despite being large minority groups, they are starved of services and mostly ignored by society; as a result, they live in isolation, segregation, poverty, charity, and even pity. They also experience obstacles in their daily routines which contribute to their low participation in society, hidden from others, and high reliance on begging in the streets.

There are at least 25 million Nigerians living with one form of disability or another, according to the World Health Organisation. In ameliorating the situation, the house of representative passed the “Bill for an act to provide 20 percent of jobs available in all federal government ministries, departments, agencies, and companies be distributed among the physically challenged in Nigeria” in January 2019, which seeks to consolidate on the provisions of the disability rights bill earlier signed by President Muhammadu Buhari. A year later (January 2020) the ‘business day newspaper’ wrote that the federal government is yet to implement provisions in the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, one year after President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the bill.

This is evident that the physically challenged persons have been victims of multiple forced evictions which makes it harder for them to maintain their livelihoods. Other barriers they face include lack of accessible physical environments and transportation and non-adapted means of communication.

But hope is not lost, Together we care Charity has shouldered the responsibility to cater for the physically challenged through her integrated project. TWC had championed and contributed to treatments of physically challenged and mentally sick persons to the state of full recovery.

We can all respond to the common and unique needs of the physically challenged that have emerged because of the humanitarian situation or that have been aggravated by the on-going crisis. Special focus should be placed on protection and inclusion that cut-across all activities.

Here are some tips in dealing with the Disabled

  1. One should offer assistance and wait until the offer is accepted.
  2. Speak directly to the disabled person, not through a third party.
  3. Always offer to shake hands.
  4. Identify yourself and others to a visually impaired person.
  5. Treat adults like adults, and don’t shout at anyone
  6. Don’t touch, lean on, or move a wheelchair without permission.