A latest study by the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has revealed that persons with disabilities were sidelined in the implementation of national response to Covid-19 pandemic.
The Commission’s chairperson, Scalder Louis, presented the findings of the study at a function that took place at the Capital Hotel in Lilongwe on Wednesday.
“Mostly, people living with disabilities relied on their friends and relatives for information,” said Louis.
She further said the pandemic has had an impact on the lives of the group in terms of their right to health, education and economic activities.
While testing and vaccination services were available, she said, they did not fully meet human rights based principles.
She therefore called for the need to comprehensively redesign the interventions in order to address the gaps that have contributed to persons with disabilities not enjoying their rights.
Federation of Disabilities in Malawi (FEDOMA) representative, Simon Munde, said the findings of a report is a true reflection of what is happening with persons with disabilities on the ground.
“The idea of ignoring the group in designing, planning and recovery process especially on the aspect of social cash transfer is a major concern,” he said.
UNDP Senior Human Rights Advisor, Sabina Lauber, said the pandemic has highlighted that protection and recovery response efforts cannot be effective unless everyone is equally valued and included.
“The response to the pandemic can only be successful if everyone has access to screening, treatment and vaccination,” she said.
Sadly, she said, global experience has shown that the voices and needs of persons living with disabilities were absent from the pandemic response.
She advised that both how to manage the pandemic and recover from it, consultation with the group as well as their meaningful inclusion in all aspects must be part of shaping the next steps.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :