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Federal Ministry of Health to Set Up Committee on Access to Healthcare for Citizens with Disabilities

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The Federal Ministry of Health has promised to set up a committee to advise the Ministry for the implementation of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD’s) recommendations for enhancing access to healthcare services for citizens with disabilities in Nigeria.
The Minister for Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole made this known during CCDs’ advocacy visit and presentation of research findings and recommendations to the Minister which is supported by the Ford Foundation.
The Minister informed the audience that he was ready to accept advice, proposals and recommendations from everyone in as much as it is set to improve the state of facilities and services offered by institutions the Ministry overseas.
 “As part of the Ministry’s plans, at least one sign language interpreter will be posted to each tertiary hospital across the nation to start with, and from there increase it. As a person with disability you should be able to access any level, it is either you have a lift or a ramp, so that if you want to get to 4th floor, you can get there, and that is very important”, the Minister said
Adewole further stated that “even for the Universities, the new direction from the National Universities Commission must be such that all peoples with disabilities can access any building including hostels; so things will change and I can assure you”
“But then I will be happy to receive a proposal to state that this is how best to look after you, the Minister concludes.
Earlier, Executive Director CCD, Mr David O. Anyaele during his brief presentation x-rayed the issues PWDs face in accessing health institutions in Nigeria. He mentioned that “beyond looking at access to buildings, we also look at institutional issues around policies on disability, attitudes of health workers to persons with disabilities and other environmental issues.
Anyaele stated that “more than 99.5% of health facilities visited during the survey are not only inaccessible but hostile. In a bid for PWDs to enter health institutions in Nigeria, they suffer multiple disabilities. There are many cases where pregnant women who suffer from one form of disability or the other died in trying to access health facilities in Nigeria. The deaf women suffer a lot in most cases.
“Thus it is important we share these difficulties with state actors and recommend that the Ministry of Health should plan a phased progressively and modify all inaccessible infrastructures in line with the National Building Code domesticated in 2006, Anyaele said.
CCD ED also called on the Minister to “ensure that Contractors present their disability policies before being awarded any contract by the Ministry.
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is the foremost human rights organisation of, and for persons with disabilities that works to promote human rights, social inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in development efforts. CCD is implementing a project on Enhancing Access to Public Infrastructures for Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria. Part of the activities of the Project include advocacy visit to Ministries, Department and Agencies of government responsible for the implementation of the National Policy for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria

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