Advocates say 'concerned' over lack of data on PWDs

Wednesday July 28 2021
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MADIPHA executive director Mr Richard Musisi together with other PWDs at Bulange, Mengo, Kampala on May 3 ,2021. PHOTO/FILE/WILSON KUTAMBA/

By Wilson Kutamba

Activists for Persons Living With Disabilities (PWDS) in greater Masaka Region have expressed concern over lack of information and statistics of persons living with disabilities in many government offices saying ‘‘this has failed service delivery among people with such conditions.’’

This was revealed during the release of their report on how lockdown has affected PWDs in Masaka sub region on Wednesday.

According to the executive director of Masaka Association of Disabled Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (MADIPHA), Mr Richard Musisi: ‘‘Government policies are very silent on the census of PWDs and this has continued to make them more marginalized not only by communities but also government  policies and laws.’

Musisi noted that they are struggling to get any data, information, or details of people living with disabilities.

Rakai district speaker Mr Charles Ssegirinya who is also among persons living with disabilities said: “Even when government captures data on disabilities it focuses on major impairments.”

Ssegirinya reasoned that government should consider carrying out a census of people living with disabilities and avail equal opportunities to such people.

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The founding chairman MADIPHA, Mr Dic Bugembe disputed the available national statistics on persons living with disabilities that show only 12.4 % of the population are living with disabilities.

“In our districts of coverage, people with disabilities are beyond that number so how can such be a national figure?’’ he questioned.

Mr Bale Mudasiru, the Kyesiga Sub-county speaker in Masaka district who doubles as Masaka district MADIPHA chairman, noted that marginalizing people living with disabilities can be noticed from public places such as arcades, hotels that omit movement channels for PWDs.

However Mr Nathan Rujunwa , the Masaka district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) said: “It is not true that people with disabilities are marginalized because opportunities are offered to candidates who show interest and with required qualifications but not appearance. ”

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that approximately 10% of any population is disabled.

It also estimates that of the 10%, only 5.8% of persons with disabilities need to be provided with services.

The United Nations Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for PWDs (1991) urges all nations to show strong commitment on the equalization of opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs.

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