Ghana government urged to speed up implementation of Disability Act
Africa, Misc., December 7 2017
ACCRA: Non-Governmental Organisations in the health sector have appealed to the Government to outline an action plan to speed up the implementation of the 2006 Disability Act.
The organisations have urged the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to collaborate with the Attorney General’s Department to put in place the necessary legislative instrument to eliminate all barriers affecting the smooth implementation of the Act.
The organisations, including the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, Vision for Alternative Development, Human Rights Advocacy Centre, Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights, and African Women Lawyers Association, have come up with a Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of People with Disability in Ghana.
The Report urged government to work with civil society to develop an implementation plan to set out the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders in achieving the tenets of the UN Convention on Disability and Ghana’s Disability Act.
It urged the Ghana Statistical Service to conduct a nationally representative survey on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Persons with Disabilities to provide a holistic appreciation of their needs.
The Report urged the Curriculum Development Division of the Ghana Education Service to collaborate with the Ghana Disability Council to improve accessibility to information on sexual and reproductive health to reduce existing inequalities in access to information.
Dr Eugene Darteh, Lecturer, Population Department of University of Cape Coast, during the presentation of the Report in Accra, said the 2010 Census showed that three per cent of the country’s population had some form of disabilities with about 40 per cent of persons with disabilities having multiple disabilities.
He said the three most prevalent types of disability were those related to vision disability, physical disabilities and emotional disability.
He said persons with disabilities were faced with barriers to information and services related to sexual and reproductive health such as communication, ignorance of health professionals about deafness, and attitudes towards deaf people by health professionals.
Dr Darteh noted that a review of the literature on the sexual and reproductive health of PWDs showed that there was lack of information and data available on those issues.
He commended the Ghana Federation of Disability for setting up a committee to work towards the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to bring improvements into their lives.