Disability Groups Call for COVID-19 Prevention Awareness
People with disabilities in Mulanje district have called for continued sensitizations on COVID-19 prevention measures as their status puts them at serious risks of contracting coronavirus.
Chairperson of Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB) Mulanje Chapter Justin Nakhalale speaking during orientation on COVID-19 prevention measures on Wednesday said as the disease continues attacking people, those with expertise should continue sensitizing people with different disabilities about the disease.
“Some people take advantage of our status to give us wrong information on COVID-19 yet correct information is just shared among people without disabilities so what we are saying is please those with expertise, continue civic educating on the disease,” said Nakhalale.
Responding to concerns over inconsistences in reaching out to people with disabilities with COVID-19 messages, the district council in Mulanje on Wednesday trained the District Disability Forum (DDF) on COVID-19 prevention measures.
District Community Development Officer Janet Nsongolo said listening to comments and questions from the participants; one would agree that there is a long way to go for people with different disabilities to access correct messages on COVID-19.
“This is just a starting point and we expect that the knowledge gained here will be shared with their friends and on our part, this is just the beginning and with resources permitting we will continue organizing different COVID-19 activities targeting persons with disabilities,” said Nsongolo.
The training was funded by Care Malawi International through a European Union ECHO-COVID-19 project.
ECHO-COVID-19 Field Advisor Mavuto Shauli said the project noted some knowledge gaps on COVID-19 on the part of persons with disabilities and they did not hesitate to support the training.
“We established that people with disabilities especially those with visual and hearing impairments have little knowledge even on COVID-19 prevention measures, and this compelled us to support this orientation,” said Shauli.
The District Disability Forum comprises members from MUB, MANAD, APAM, MEHUCA, Parents of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Limited (PASHL) and Disabled Physical Association in Malawi (DIPAM).