Members of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations have said issues concerning the group are considered an afterthought and not prioritised.
The federation said the needs of persons with disability in the country are not considered at the planning and decision-making stages until “somebody comes to remind us that there are other groups called persons with disabilities.”
According to the Director of Communication for the federation, Mr Adam Wahab, Ghana is quick to make laws but slow at enforcing them.
Speaking at a press conference in Tamale on Wednesday, 3 April 2019, Mr Wahab said: “If, as a country, we modify our laws and enforce them, let’s say that every hospital must have a disability person, all hospitals must be disability-friendly; even contractors, when putting up the hospitals, there should be a team to inspect how accessible it would be; the same team would’ve to evaluate and confirm that it is really accessible before the contractor is paid. We’ve to ensure that workers that go through training to become nurses, doctors or whoever, have to go through disability training, they go through common sign language interpretations. If all these are incorporated into our curriculum, then we are likely to solve this problem.”
Mr Wahab further bemoaned the behaviour of some health workers towards PWDs.
He alleged that most often, some health workers are unable to keep confidential information about persons with disabilities, explaining: “For example, I may have certain personal issues and I’m able to reveal that to a medical practitioner or the doctor, then the assumption is that all persons with albinism have that specific problem that I have and then it becomes a public issue, making it very uncomfortable for persons with disability to confidently go to the hospital.”
Mr Wahab mentioned that the federation has conducted a case study in the Greater Accra and Northern regions on the sexual reproductive health of persons with disability and the findings are worrying.