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SCI tasks Policy Makers on Protection of Children With Disabilities

Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria on Wednesday called on policy makers to take concrete steps to protect children with disabilities.

Mercy Gichuhi, national director of SCI, said in a statement in Abuja that there was a need to shine a light on the plight of these children.

Gichuhi said that the “Global Summit on Disability” scheduled for February 16-17 was aimed at drawing world attention and focusing on neglected areas, among others.

He also said that he intended to address inclusive sustainable development as well as strengthen the capacity of organizations.

Gichuhi urged stakeholders at all levels, including federal, state and local governments, to create an enabling and inclusive environment for children with disabilities.

Citing the UNFPA World Population Panel 2021, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank report on disability, he said: “Nigeria is home to an estimated 32 million people with disabilities, the majority of whom are kids.

“They face different types of discrimination and have limited access to basic social services, such as health and educational facilities.

“The current status quo reveals that approximately 95.5 per cent of children with disabilities in Nigeria do not attend school.

“They have little knowledge about sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues, including HIV/AIDS due to inaccessible information and communication tools on SRH/HIV.”

According to Gichuhi, children and women with disabilities are the most affected and disadvantaged in times of disaster, armed conflict or humanitarian crisis.

She said they were often found in underserved parts of communities during recovery and response programs.

Gichuhi said that community development would be incomplete if it did not include and address the rights and special needs of people with disabilities.

“Therefore, I would like to call on development actors, donors, the private sector, states and governments to deliberately take into account the inclusion and rights of persons with disabilities in planning, financing and humanitarian and development implementation,” he said.

Gichuhi also called on the government to design health, education and livelihood programs that are more inclusive and enabling in a bid to curb the discrimination faced by people with disabilities, especially girls.

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