The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities and a medical doctor, Ejike Oji, have sensitised Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) on virtual communication to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sensitisation which took place on Friday had the theme: “COVID-19 and Persons with Disabilities’’.
It was held through a webinar facilitated by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) in partnership with Action Aid and funder UKAID.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that those who participated in the webinar include state chairmen of the Joint National Associations of Persons with Disabilities from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
Media professionals and members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) also participated in the event.
Oji, Chairman Medical Subcommittee, FCT Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19, said at the event that there was the need to sensitise PLWDs on COVID-19 because they were vulnerable.
According to him, COVID-19 is at the community transmission stage in Nigeria; hence, the need for PLWDs to be more careful to avoid infection.
He said that PLWDs should take responsibility by sanitising their assistive devices, making sure their helpers put on face masks and avoiding crowded places.
“Ensure you adhere to the preventive measures against coronavirus.
“Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, maintain physical distancing, sneeze into tissues and dispose same properly or sneeze into elbows and use alcohol-based sanitisers,’’ Oji advised.
Oji also enlightened the participants on the symptoms of coronavirus and advised them to seek help when necessary.
Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director, CCD, said that the event was to enhance coronavirus behavioural change among Nigerians with disabilities since the virus would not discriminate.
“It is part of the centre’s response to COVID-19 pandemic and persons with disabilities.
“ This COVID-19 response is to enhance COVID-19 behavioural change among Nigerians with disabilities as the virus does not discriminate.
“The panic created by coronavirus across the world, starting from Wuhan, China, led to a total lockdown of nations and staying at home for more than 4.5 billion persons worldwide,” he said.
According to him, when a disaster occurs, persons with disabilities bear the greatest pains arising from it.
“It is by the grace of God that many of us with disabilities are still living today.
“We are worried that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is yet to inform us of how many confirmed COVID-19 cases are persons with disabilities
“As leaders of persons with disabilities, it becomes imperative for us to deepen our knowledge on COVID-19 in order to guide our response to our clusters and communities.
“CCD commits to capacity building of persons with disabilities on behavioural change on COVID-19, and support for state systems on response and recovery,’’ he said.
Anyaele called on governments to give special consideration to PLWDs in their community mobilisation and sensitisation on COVID-19.