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1 billion people in the world are disabled

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By Mercy Kelani

Persons with disabilities are the world’s largest minority & have poorer health.

In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3 made the proclamation of the International Day of Disabled Persons as an annual observance for the promotion of the rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities in all societal spheres and development. The United Nations encouraged all its member states and organizations to improve their efforts towards sustaining effective action that would aid the improvement of the condition of persons with disabilities. It is commemorated every December 3.

Of the world’s population of over 7 billion people, over 1 billion people which equals approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, live with one form of disability or another, with over 1 million of them as children. Research also has it that about 80 percent of every person living with disabilities live in developing countries and 50 percent of them unable to afford proper health care. Also, persons with disabilities are described as the world’s largest minority and generally have poorer health, higher Poverty rates, lesser economic opportunities and lower Education achievements compared to those without disabilities.

Persons with disabilities suffer violence more than non-disabled.

The inability of persons with disabilities to embrace opportunities like people without disabilities do is due to unavailability of services such as Information Communication Technology (ICT), transportation or justice to them, and many other challenges they come across in their everyday lives. This category of persons faces diverse challenges every day, some of which relates to the physical environment, results from societal discrimination or attitudes or Legislation or policy. Another challenge is their vulnerability to high risk of violence.

It has been proven that children with disabilities have a high tendency of experiencing violence four times than non-disabled children. Likewise, adults who live with disabilities are likely to fall victims of violence about 1.5 times than non-disabled adults. Adults with Mental Health conditions are also four times at higher risk of violence than those without their condition. Some of the factors which put persons with disabilities at higher risk of violence include discrimination, stigma, lack of social support and ignorance about disability.

Nigerian President signed DAPD (Prohibition) Act in 2018.

According to the World Report on disability in 2011, about 25 million Nigerians lived with at least one disability while over 3 million of these people suffered great difficulties in functioning. Also, in 2020 more than 27 million Nigerians live with one form of disability or another. These disabilities fall under either of the following five most common types of disabilities in the country: visual impairment, intellectual impairment, physical impairment, communication impairment and hearing impairment.

In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018. The law accommodated the establishment of Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and awards punitive damages to victims of discrimination who live with disabilities. It also emphasizes the prohibition of discrimination against Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWD) with a sanction of fines for anyone who goes against the law. An establishment of a National Commission for Persons with Disabilities would also be ensured to provide access to healthcare, housing and education for persons with disabilities.

WHO organizes the annual IDPD event and decides on a theme.

World Health Organization joins forces with the United Nations to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) to reinforce the significance of preserving the rights of persons with disabilities to enable their full, equal and effective participation in societal affairs just like non-disabled people and ensure they encounter no obstacles in all aspects of their lives. WHO is assigned the duty of the decision of a theme and development of evidence-based advocacy materials. The organization is also responsible for the organization of the annual IDPD event for the education of the public and creation of awareness.


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