By Elias Hakizimana.
Development partners including First Peoples Disability Organization (FPDO) in conjunction with African Initiative for Mankind Progress Organization (AIMPO) joined other Persons with Disabilities in celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2019.
This initiative was financed by Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA)
This year, the national focus is “Ahazaza hazira inzitizi ku bafite ubumuga” loosely translated ‘’The Future without barriers for People with Disabilities’’
FPDO call upon in the strongest terms the declining response to inclusive Health for Historically Marginalized People (HMP) with Disability. Health is a right guaranteed under Article 21 of Constitution of Rwanda and Article 25 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The legal and policy framework regarding the promotion of the right to health for Historically Marginalized People with disabilities is apparent. The constitution, the law protecting persons with disabilities and special ministerial orders provide for the promotion of the right to health for persons with disability in Rwanda.
Delphine Uwajeneza, Deputy Director, AIMPO said: “We strongly put it to the attention of the duty bearers specifically that Historically Marginalized People with Disabilities are victims of double jeopardy. We are concerned that, access to health for Historically Marginalized People in Rwanda has remained limited due to acute condition they are living in in their community.”
Majority of Historically Marginalized People with disabilities lack health insurance and means to access information relating to health services that exist and are provided by the government. Hospital settings and infrastructure especially for hospitalization lack adequate accommodation standards for persons with disabilities.
Access to health services especially communication with health personnel with the deaf is even more limited, particularly in remote areas, often leading to additional disabling health conditions. The rights of Historically Marginalized People with Disabilities who are blind and deaf are usually violated by health practitioners mainly due to ignorance and lack of appropriate skills to communicate with them.
“It’s on this premise that we call upon States, Government agencies and departments, civil society and academia to all strive to re-think existing attitudes, knowledge and practice if we are to have meaningful conversation on right to health for Historically Marginalized people with Disabilities leading to HMP’s future without barriers.” Uwajeneza noted.
“We thus on this day join the international audience in amplifying our voices for the voiceless HMP with disabilities.” She added.
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