Persons with disabilities call for disability inclusive Covid-19 response

By Fairstars Mukungurutse

Persons with disabilities, who are the most vulnerable group during emergencies, have called for a disability inclusive Covid-19 response strategy.

They spend the greater part of the day interacting with many people as they rely on well-wishers to sustain them.

However, persons with disabilities are at a greater risk of getting infected with covid-19 and therefore require information on how to protect themselves from the deadly virus.

Those who spoke to the ZBC News said they commute every day from Epworth to the city where they can get something to sustain their family, but though they have heard of Covid-19, they say that no one has managed to tell them more on how they are supposed to protect themselves.

Others asked the government to set up or identify places where they can get advice on Covid-19, get tested occasionally and probably get vaccinated.

Lobby groups feel more still needs to be done in as far as the disability Covid-19 response is concerned.

Signs of Hope Trust Director Samatha Sibanda said, “It’s true there is a huge gap for people with disabilities and their support networks in capacitating them. There is need for a multi-stakeholder approach in dealing with the issue.

“As organisations for disabled persons we are going to engage the Ministry of Health on how we can work together to achieve a common cause.”

The general consensus is that vulnerability of persons with disabilities calls for their prioritisation in terms of access to information, social assistance and protective measures.