LETETR TO EDITOR

Covid-19 response should not leave out people living with disability

Persons with living disabilities need extra assistance as we combat this pandemic

In Summary

• Persons living with disability are among the worst hit.

• And while the government is releasing Sh10 billion to cushion the poor, that is not enough.

People living with disability demonstrate in Ol Kalou town, Nyandarua on Wednesday December 20, 2017
People living with disability demonstrate in Ol Kalou town, Nyandarua on Wednesday December 20, 2017
Image: NDICHU WAINAINA

On March 11, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 as a global pandemic.

Two days later, Kenya reported its first case, which has jumped to 383: The number is increasing steadily, as the economic impact of the pandemic bites.

As a result, many have been rendered jobless due to the stay-home  and social distancing directives,  which are some of the measures the government is using to curb the spread of the virus.

But persons living with disability are among the worst hit. And while the government is releasing Sh10 billion to cushion the poor, that is not enough.

The government must ensure more is done for persons with disabilities. Organisations dealing with this group should be engaged at the grassroots to spread the information since most of those with disabilities can’t access regular news briefs, don’t have access to the internet or ability to read in the case of the blind.

Basic needs such as food, pampers for persons with cerebral palsy, clean water, accessible handwashing joints, availability of sanitisers at all times for those can’t use water due to medical conditions and face masks should be provided.

Persons with living disabilities need extra assistance as we combat this pandemic. They are vulnerable as some have complex medical problems and once they contract the disease, they may suffer greatly and succumb.

The government must, therefore, ensure necessary measures are put in place to protect vulnerable members of society.

Mwangi is a disability activist based in Laikipia