Sightsavers as part of her “Inclusive Futures” program engaged the House Committee on Disability, The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities- NCPWD, Nigeria, and Consortium of Organizations of Persons with disabilities such as Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), The Albino Foundation (TAF), Nigerian Association of the Blind NAB and others on a two-day Disability Inclusion Retreat for Nigerian Legislators in Oweri, Imo State.
Hon. Princess Miram Onuoha, the Chairman, House Committee on Disability and Member Representing Isiala Mbano, Onuimo, Okigwe Federal Constituency, speaking at the event said that the retreat is important and it came at the right time because it geared towards enlightening the legislators at the committee on the concept of disability, and how they can use legislation to achieve the full integration of persons with disabilities into the society.
Speaking further, she appreciated the speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajibiamila for creating a standing committee on disability on December 7th, 2019 and it has provided opportunity for the house of representatives to be carrying out oversight functions and legislations on disability matters.
She informed how the committee can achieve its set objectives such as strategy for domestication and implementation, advocacy /awareness, inclusion of children in the disability Act.
She also spoke about preventive measures on disability which includes drawing attention to eye care, immunization, and partnering with road safety to come up with measures to avoid road accidents to minimize incidents of physical disabilities.
The Executive Secretary, NCPWD, Mr. James Lalu expressed his support and appreciation towards sightsavers for a wonderful and unique idea, encouraged more of such retreats because more awareness is needed, as more understand the concept of disability, it would be the work of implementation of disability act easier.
The consortium undertook a series of tasks that delivered tangible outcomes that will improve the lives of people with disabilities through increased equitable access to quality health services, education, jobs/self-employment/improved livelihood, and a reduction in negative stereotyping and discrimination.
A communique for immediate action was formed for the Committee which includes Legislators to work closely with the Organization of People with Disabilities to speed up actions, engage OPDs on a grassroot stand-alone outreach and campaigns targeted specifically at women and girls with disabilities on SRHR, government prioritize access to quality, affordable health care services for women and girls with disabilities and Health policy formulations such as medical insurance, inclusive health budgeting, reproductive rights, standard equipping of PHCs, and access to health/maternity care should be more inclusive particularly for women and girls with disabilities to topple institutional barriers.
OPDs such IFA expressed their gratitude to Dr Sunday Isiyaku (Country Director, Sightservers) and Rasak Adekoya for the opportunity to share in building an inclusive society.