Persons With Disabilities (PWD) organizations in Nigeria are calling on the federal government of Nigeria to ensure prioritization of the complete implementation of the Disability Act in order to effectively tackle the obstacles encountered by these unique individuals in their day-to-day existence. In Abuja, during the third edition of the International Day of Persons With Disabilities (PWD), which was expertly organized by Cedar Seed Foundation, the call was unanimously made by various groups dedicated to ensuring their welfare.
Simultaneously, the Disability Impact Fund was launched during the commemoration of the International Day of Persons With Disabilities (PWD), thereby marking a significant step towards the achievement of inclusivity and support for individuals with disabilities. Cedar Seed Foundation’s executive director, Lois Auta Udonkatad, further emphasized at the gathering that the initiation of this establishment — the Disability Impact Fund — will not only foster inclusivity, but it will also ensure provision of an avenue for individuals with disabilities to be duly represented.
27 million Nigerians are currently living with a form of disability.
Through the Disability Impact Fund, they will also be actively involved in crucial sectors in the country such as healthcare, education, transportation, and governmental decision-making. In a press conference held earlier, Udonkatad made a passionate plea for immediate assistance from the government in addressing serious matters that concern the integration of persons with disabilities (PWD) and the implementation of Disability Inclusive Service Delivery (DISD) across the board for the everyday activities of all service providers.
Furthermore, she made a plea to both institutions owned by the government and donor agencies to ensure enhancement of their budget allocation for disability interventions, which is aimed at boosting the financial support available to organizations dedicated to persons with disabilities (PWD). She expressed that in the country, there is compelling evidence by recent reports that a substantial number of Nigerians, estimated to more than 27 million individuals, are currently living with disabilities in some capacity.
Statistics reveal that they face a significantly higher vulnerability.
This highlight reveals the urgency to tackle and confront the multifaceted obstacles encountered by persons with disabilities in a holistic manner. In order to make this goal a reality, the Cedar Seed Foundation has formed a collaboration with various disability organizations that are concerned about their welfare. Together, they will undertake a range of initiatives to raise awareness, including conducting campaigns within religious communities and holding press conferences. Furthermore, they will host an award/fundraising dinner to gather support and funds.
Additionally, a national disability dialogue will be organized for the encouragement of discussions on this important topic. As a significant step towards providing assistance to individuals with disabilities, the Cedar Seed Foundation will also introduce the disability Impact Fund. This program aims to ensure that resources are easily accessible to those who are in need. Statistics reveal that individuals with disabilities face a significantly higher vulnerability and likelihood of encountering a range of health issues.
Issues that they faced arise from deep-rooted disparities in health.
Such health challenges encompass mental health conditions like depression, physical conditions like asthma, chronic diseases like diabetes and stroke, struggles with obesity, as well as problems related to oral health. Udonkatad emphasized that the issues that are faced by Persons With Disabilities arise from deep-rooted disparities in health, which are fueled by unjust circumstances. These circumstances encompass various aspects like stigma, discrimination, poverty, lack of access to education, and systemic obstacles within the healthcare system In the country.