COVID-19 Containment Measures Not Inclusive - AFDB
African Federation of the Deaf Blind, AFDB has expressed concern that little has been done to provide people with disabilities with guidance and support for when COVID-19 pandemic strikes.
For example, President of the federation Ezekiel Kumwenda told Zodiak Online Monday that the measures declared by President Peter Mutharika and World Health Organisation to prevent the threat of Coronavirus in the country are not inclusive to persons with disabilities.
Kumwenda said, most measures that president Peter Mutharika directed are only aired on radios and Televisions leaving behind persons with disabilities especially those who are deaf and blind.
“The measures are mostly aired on radios and televisions which are not accessible by persons with disabilities especially those who are deaf and blind,” said Kumwenda.
Kumwenda further told Zodiak Online that the containment measures such as social distancing and self-isolation may be impossible for those who rely on others to eat.
He also expressed concern that the situation of people with disabilities in institutions , psychiatric facilities and prisons is particularly grave, given the high risk of contamination and the lack of external oversight .
“I have noted with sadness that the containment measures such as social distancing and self-isolation may be impossible for those who rely on others to eat and that the situation in our psychiatric facilities and prisons is particularly grave given the high risk of contamination in these facilities,” Kumwenda said.
Last week, President Mutharika declared state of disaster in the country as preventive measure to Coronavirus outbreak.
Among other directives, Mutharika restricted public gatherings to less than 100 people in churches, weddings and funerals.
“Due to Coronavirus outbreak, my Government has directed that all schools, colleges, both public and private should be closed by Monday, 23rd March, 2020 and public gatherings should be restricted to less than 100,” Mutharika said.
Malawi has not registered any confirmed Coronavirus case but there continue to be worries given the poor state of the country health care system.