The National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) has called upon government to include persons with disabilities, including those with mental health in all COVID-19 related interventions particularly in the cash handout mobile money transfer due to start on July 6, 2021.
In a statement signed by Mpindi Bumali the chairperson of NUDIPU, the organisation said that while it appreciates government for putting in place Standard Operating Procedures to help curb the spread of the virus and for its Covid-19 relief intervention, PWDs should not be left behind in the interventions.
The organisation said the seven categories of beneficiaries of the Covid-19 relief released by government exclude PWDs.
These are: taxi drivers, boda boda riders, single mothers, youth in slum areas, salon operators, people who load and offload cargo and people dealing in petty businesses. Each household in these categories will receive Shs 100,000 according to government.
"It is upon this basis that NUDIPU is calling on government to have persons with disabilities included on the list of the beneficiaries because most of them are left with barely nothing to survive/rely on due to the lockdown; others are still unable to toil in order to earn a living due to mobility challenges that have been exacerbated by the the ban on public transport like taxis (Matatus) and boda bodas (motorcycles)," NUDIPU said.
The organisation said government can extend several incentives to PWDS during the lock down which may include:
- Issuing vouchers since a considerable number of persons with disabilities do not own mobile phones.
- Consider parents/caregivers of children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, mental illness, epilepsy since they majorly depend on drugs for survival and it is necessary that they are properly fed and well taken care of to supplement their drugs especially during this lockdown.
- Ensure that essential drugs for persons with disabilities like epilepsy, cerebral palsy and mental illness are brought close to their nearest health centres for easy access as the border districts continue to be closed.
- Provide information in accessible formats for Persons with disabilities especially those with hearing and visual impairments for them to benefit from the mobile money exercise and other interventions.