Disability inclusive COVID-19 Response

Of great concern is the impact COVID 19 may have on the most vulnerable parts of our society,including people with disabilities.What is needed now is inclusion and collaboration as we tackle this crisis together, #Leavingnoonebehind.

United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) recommend inclusive responses for people living with disabilities.

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Thanks for this, @AimeeOngeso

Hi @shrustha, @Ndhital, @birendrap, we would love to hear updates from Nepal on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on persons with disabilities.

We also request other members who are working with persons with disabilities to post updates here.

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Hi friends in Global Legal Empowerment Network,

Regards from Nepal!

It is really a tough time particularly those living with disabilities. We are safe and protected with lockdown however this is even more difficult time for the people living in institutional setting such as hostel, group accommodation and sharing compartment.

May I take privilege to provide you the current information concerning COVID-19 pandemic affecting people with disabilities in Nepal.

Persons with disabilities are much deprived having lack of protective materials and Hygiene such as Hand sanitizers, face mask, Soaps and paper towels. The another concerns is that the adequate information is not available, the information in accessible and easy to read text is not available. Such as there is no sign-language captioning in TV news. Because of the Lockdown situation, there is lack of adequate food stuff . There is no particular attention to persons with disabilities in the isolation centres since they are at high risk of Coronavirus infection because the hands are being exposed for touching surface and communication. Such as rolling wheelchair, white cane holding and sign-language communication.

The Persons with disabilities and their representing organisations are doing their level best to influence the Government submitting petition to include concerns of persons with disabilities in the Government scheme and information system. The urge of the DPOs is to provide adequate information in accessible format, provide food stuff for the needy one, assign isolation center for vulnerable group such persons with disabilities, orphans, elder citizen, women and those living in the street.

The DPOs are also providing information in accessible and easy text such as Abilis Foundation has developed accessible “Information Education and Communication” (IEC) materials for Deaf and other cognitive disabilities. Please find the IEC material in easy Nepali language for reference.

The DPOs are also engaged with broader civil society organisations to push for including their concerns within the Government action on Covid-19 response and preparedness.

For an example, the petition to UN Secretary General has been submitted by the stakeholder group on disability (TGDRR). The DPOs also have urged National Human Rights Commission to speak for ensuring disability inclusive Covid-19 preparedness and response.

I am carrying out the survey through NFDN and ADRAD-Nepal to identify the status of persons with disabilities in the preparedness and response of Covid-19 in Nepal which is going on through online survey form, please find the link of this survey which is in Nepali language.

Fill out in Google Forms

For further information, please get back to me.

Best regards.

Birendra

(Attachment (Covid-19-easyText-PictorialMessage).pdf is missing)

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Thanks @birendrap for the updates. You highlighted an interesting fact that makes persons with disabilities at high risk of infection - the use of hands for touching surfaces or communicating.

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DEAR MARLON

Greeting from Nepal

Sorry for the late reply due to poor internet access at my home.

Thank you for your email regarding COVID19.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Nepal Government has been also lockdown sinve 28 days the country for its precaution measures and we are staying at home and working form home though very limited access of internet. Our staffs and members and beneficiary are safe till now.

In Nepal there are total persons 31 infected by COVID-19 within these 4 were well after treatment. I would like to update the impact of COVID-19 for person with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are among the world’s most marginalized and stigmatized even under the normal circumstances. They do often have underlying health conditions which make them more vulnerable to get infected by COVID-19. Considering this current countrywide lockdown situation in Nepal, NDWA did different consultations with different groups of persons with disabilities throughout the country. Through these consultations, it was found that the person with disabilities and their family members who are at extremely vulnerable conditions are badly affected for their daily lives. Some persons with disabilities who were running their small groceries for their daily lives as income generative activities have been stopped. Persons with spinal cord injuries are facing big health challenges due to unavailability of their daily medical kits and clinical apparatus like Clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) that they do specifically need for everyday lives. Persons who have hemophilia are in great danger of not getting factor that they require. Similarly, the girls and women with disabilities who have spinal cord injuries or are wheelchair users getting their health worst due to the continuous bed rest at home due to lockdown. And, this is resulting in body swelling, urinary tract infection, and infection in backbone.

Persons who do not have their mobility always need personnel assistant for their daily lives. Due to the lockdown situation, persons with disabilities are confined at their own home because of which they are not being able to purchase their daily needs like diaper, sanitary pads, hygiene materials in their own. Persons with intellectual disabilities are also lacking the sanitary and hygiene stuffs to get safe from infection in this situation. Many persons with disabilities are now facing mental stress and anxiety due to this pandemic. In an overall, the COVID-19 has bad impact in the lives of persons with disabilities.

Thanking you again.

With best regards

NIRMALA DHITAL

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Thanks for the updates, @Ndhital. If you have documentation of the consultation, or any reference material that can be shared, please send.

Absolutely, as the rich virus skyrockets, we need to peek into our neighbors don’t mention the disabled ones, they suffer most!

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Hello Aimee Ongeso You are absolutely right and the concern is prevailing in all over the world. People with disabilities are the largest marginalized communities. In Bangladesh they are de facto excluded from the benefits that government is providing. Due to lack of access to information, they are deprived of most of the services, relief and other benefits. Most of them are engaged in informal labor sector at daily wage basis. In the lock down situation they are completely out of work and pay as well. Government has issued few circular to ensure inclusive response, but the field administration do not comply. I am worried what will happen if the death rate rises, our medical service is very inaccessible for persons with all types of disabilities. Best regards, Rejaul Karim Siddiquee (A person with physical disabilities) Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh And Chairperson, Disability Inclusive Justice And Legal Aid (DIJLA)

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