EDITORIAL: Interventions for people living with disabilities long overdue

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EDITORIAL: Interventions for people living with disabilities long overdue
EDITORIAL: Interventions for people living with disabilities long overdue

Africa-PressRwanda. This week, it emerged that a 2018 promise to improve access to sunscreen body lotions and creams to afford people living with albinism normal lives, will soon be fulfilled as products have arrived in the country and their distribution will begin soon.

The subsidized products are a sigh of relief to people living with albinism who could not afford the lotions and creams which are priced between Rwf8,000 and Rwf10,000 for adults and Rwf6,000 for children.

The distribution of the subsidized creams will among other things improve the quality of life of the beneficiaries more especially that one can use Mutuelle Health Insurance.

While there is progress in the aspect, much more can be done to improve the welfare of persons living with disability. Their welfare has not always been accorded the priority it deserves in multiple aspects making it hard for them to get by.

Visiting a number of buildings across the city will reveal that very few of them have facilities and installations that are friendly for people living with disabilities.

In other instances, the existence of the facilities and installations is merely for compliance and not structurally functional as has been evidenced by multiple inspections.

Following the pandemic, the situation has gotten worse. For instance, as processes such as hand washing or sanitizing become mandatory when entering public spaces, in multiple locations, they are not placed with the welfare of people living with disabilities.

With information about the pandemic an important element in the Covid-19 era, it has not always been tailored to the context of persons living with disabilities. This could leave them more vulnerable to the pandemic has the country tries to recover and pick up.

To ensure sustainable inclusion of persons living with disability and equal opportunities for all, different players across the country ought to look at what can be done to improve their welfare. This could be through less costly initiatives such as availing important information in sign language and braille, or positioning hand washing stations in ways that ensure accessibility for all.

Interventions could also include reviewing key costs that various persons with disability incur and find ways to subsidize them or reduce them.

This will require both private and public sectors to review their processes and procedures to find necessary adjustments that will improve the welfare of persons living with disabilities.

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