UNITED DISABLED PERSONS OF KENYA:
APPEAL FOR THE PRIORITIZATION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN VACCINATION AGAINST COVID-19
PROTECTING PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES DURING COVID-19. 7th April 2020 (Summary of key recommendations) PDF And WORD
This Covid-19 Advisory has been jointly prepared by the United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) and the Caucus on Disability Rights Advocacy (CDRA).
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION
- To ensure that people with disabilities are not deprived of lifesaving information, communication strategies should include qualified sign language interpretation for televised announcements, websites that are accessible to people with different disabilities and telephone-based services that have text capabilities for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Communications should use plain language to maximize understanding.
- As we have rightly been informed, COVID-19 spreads rapidly and is especially dangerous to people living in close proximity to others in closed settings. Many adults and children with disabilities live in often overcrowded residential informal urban settings where they face neglect, abuse, and inadequate health care. Governments should take urgent steps to identify and attend to people with disabilities in such informal settings.
- A lot of people with disabilities have other secondary conditions which make them more vulnerable to attack by diseases. Without swift action by the government to include persons with disabilities in their response to COVID-19, they will remain at serious risk of infection and death as the pandemic spreads. People who are older, people with chronic health conditions in addition to disabilities.
- Governments should also consider the specific needs of people with disabilities when developing prevention strategies. For example, additional guidelines on hand washing should be developed for people with disabilities who are not able to wash their hands frequently or on their own or lack access to sufficient water for hygiene.
- People with disabilities who live at home often rely on community-based social support to meet their basic daily needs, including for meals and hygiene. They will also need support from professionals who will understand Covid19 and how to ensure personal hygiene and protection. Protective gears and services will also be needed.
PEOPLE WITH PSYCHOSOCIAL DISABILITIES
- With policies requiring social isolating to stem the spread of coronavirus, people with psychosocial disabilities, such as anxiety or depression, may be in particular distress and may benefit from additional mental health support services. Government policies should ensure community-based services continue and crisis counseling programs are accessible to all.
- The Government should take all appropriate measures to ensure access for persons with disabilities to health services and provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality and standard of health care as provided to other persons, including mental health services. The Government should also continue providing to persons with disabilities the health services required by persons with disabilities specifically because of their disabilities
The Government should ensure that economic hardship during the crisis is addressed particularly with respect to persons with disabilities who may face the loss of means of livelihood and additional barriers to meet basic essential needs. The Government may need to consider food subsidies or other means of social protection.
EDUCATION AND WORKPLACE
Children with disabilities face barriers to accessing a quality, inclusive education. As governments close schools, many schools are implementing online instruction. The Government should ensure accessible material and lesson plans are equally available to students who do not have access to the internet and those who can only benefit from the non-standard ways of learning.
CONSULTATION WITH PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES THROUGH THEIR REPRESENTATIVE ORGANISATIONS
- The governments in its endeavor to protect PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES during the coronavirus pandemic will need to consult with DPOs regularly to make sure policies and practice in regard to the pandemic meet their needs.
REFUGEE CAMPS SITUATION
- COVID-19 could be catastrophic in settings such as refugee camps or other temporary camps, where people live in close proximity and often lack access to basic services. People with disabilities in places like these face severe obstacles to basic services. Special attention will need to be given to persons with disabilities in such settings.
INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION:
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICES:
MINISTRY OF HEALTH(KENYA)
NATIONAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE COMMITEE
Updates on covid 19: