Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Vaccination: Group urges Sanwo-Olu to prioritise Persons With Disabilities

The group called on Mr Sanwo-Olu to respect Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.

• March 28, 2021
Persons With Disabilities (PWDs)
Persons With Disabilities (PWDs)

The Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Association of the Blind (NAB) has urged the Lagos governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to give priority access to Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the on-going COVID-19 vaccination exercise.

NAB disclosed this in a press statement on Saturday.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect more people, the association is worried that disabled persons stand a greater risk because they form a critical bulk of the communities.

Many states in Nigeria, including Lagos, are already inoculating citizens with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The group called on Mr Sanwo-Olu to respect Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD), of which Nigeria is a signatory, and give priority to them.

Article 11 of the CRPD states that: “States Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.”

Chairman of the group, Barrister Lukman Abolarinwa Salami, while calling for the PWDs to be prioritised in disaster and risk management efforts, added that: “In fact, Section 30 of the Lagos Special People’s Law also guarantees every disable persons priority attention in matters of public emergency response.”

Adding his voice, the group’s Public Relations Officer, Gbenga Ogundare, explained that not less 500,000 PWDs, including primary and secondary school students live in Lagos, hence “there is palpable worries about reaching those who may face technological or geographic barriers to access the vaccine.”

“Truth is that disabled persons are the most vulnerable when it comes to the pandemic. Those on wheelchairs and crutches lack immunity and mobility. 

The blind cannot maintain social distancing because they need sighted assistance for their everyday activities, and many cannot understand what is going on around them as modes and means of communication are not accessible to them. 

This community therefore deserves to be given a chance to survive the pandemic through priority access to the vaccine,” Mr Ogundare further noted.

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