The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has advised the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA)to build the capacity of health workers in Nigeria to enhance compliance with the Disability Act.
Mrs Peace Ezekiel, CCD Programme Officer, said this at the closing of a training for 182 workers of NPHCDA in Abuja on sections, provisions and penalties of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act, 2018.
Ezekiel said that since the NPHCDA played pivotal role in the health sector, its contributions toward enhancing healthcare for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) could not be over-emphasised.
She also appealed to NPHCDA to set an example for other healthcare agencies by putting in place PWDs friendly assistive devices to aid their access to its head office in Abuja.
Speaking, Mr David Anyaele, the Executive Director, CCD said that the training was to build the capacities of relevant health stakeholders on the contents of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Act.
Anyaele, represented by Mr Humphrey Ukeaja, CCD Lead Researcher, said that the major challenge of health policy actors remained lack of awareness on the law and its provisions.
“Based on the findings from our 2021 assessment of access to COVID-19 vaccines for PWDs.
“We discovered the challenges faced by social and health policy makers includes but not limited to lack of sufficient knowledge and scanty data of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
“Also poor knowledge on the rights, needs and other issues of critical concerns to PWDs especially with regards to the national disability act.
“We can attribute this to poor engagement by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) responsible for creating awareness and sensitising the public on the national disability law and its provisions,” he said.
Anyaele added:“We believe this training and capacity building will help to support planning.
“It will also guide health service providers on their roles in providing and implementing proper health polices with reference to the law and for benefits of PWDs.”
Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director, NPHCDA, applauded the initiative of the group to train and build capacity of NPHCDA staff on the provisions of the disability act in relation to health services providers.
Shuaib, represented by Mrs Nneka Onwu, a Deputy Director at the agency, said that the NPHCDA was ready to collaborate with stakeholders toward enhancing compliance to the law.
He promised to cascade the knowledge gained at the training to its member of staff nationwide.
Mr Nzemadu Aloysius, also aDeputy Director at the agency, urged CCD and other disability organisations not to relent in creating awareness and sensitising state actors and non-state actors on the act.