Kpeve (V/R),- Madam Ivy Bedy, Project Officer, Global Action for Women Empowerment (GLOWA), has called on traditional authorities to institute comprehensive measures to protect the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and persons with mental health conditions.
She said PWDs and persons with mental health conditions lived within traditional areas, thus the call on traditional authorities to institute mechanisms to safeguard the rights of such persons in their various jurisdictions.
Madam Bedy, speaking at a day’s refresher and stock-taking meeting with stakeholders at Kpeve in the South Dayi District of the Volta Region, said PWDs and persons with mental health conditions could contribute to the development of the country when giving the needed protection and support.
The meeting discussed the role of duty-bearers in protecting the rights of PWDs and persons with mental health conditions and their inclusion and participation in social and pro-poor interventions in line with Disability and Mental Health Acts.
The session also looked at the level of adherence to the National Council for Persons with Disabilities’ (NCPD) guidelines on the disbursement and management of disability fund and initiatives undertaking by stakeholders to support PWDs and to ensure they benefitted from government pro-poor interventions.
Madam Bedy said every citizen must be concerned about the rights of PWDs and persons with mental health conditions and urged stakeholders to make necessary efforts to safeguard their rights at all times and ensure they were not discriminated against and stigmatised against.
She commended Community Watch Advocates (CWAs) for their commitment and hard work in educating PWDs on their rights and urged them to intensify the education, saying when PWDs became aware of their rights they would be empowered to demand those rights.
Madam Bedy used the opportunity to appeal to all to continue observing the novel coronavirus safety protocols to stem the spread of the virus.
Mr Nathaniel Adzotor, the District Coordinating Director, said the Assembly occasionally moved to the communities to educate PWDS on their rights and the common fund.
He said the Assembly also provided PWDs with items and offered them business advice on how to use the items profitably to transform their lives.
Madam Emma Adom, the District Director of Social Welfare and Community Development, disclosed that the District currently had a total of 779 PWDs in its album and had supported 222 out of the number.
Mr Carl Kofi Tettey, immediate past Volta Regional Chairman of Ghana Society of Physically Disabled (GSPD), said access to public goods and services was one major challenge confronting PWDs.
He said some PWDs had all the qualifications needed for employment, but accessibility became a barrier, and therefore urged relevant stakeholders to take deliberate action to address the situation.
Mr Tettey emphasised the need for a holistic integrated and inclusive development, where no one was left behind and an enabling environment for PWDs to realise their potential.
Madam Patience Nunoo, the District Director of Health, also called for support and protection of the rights of PWDs and persons with mental health conditions, and to be entreated with dignity.
The programme formed part of a 12-month disability and mental health focused programme, Ghana Somubi Dwumadie (Ghana Participation Programme) with funding support from UKaid through Options’ Consortium.
Source: Ghana News Agency