Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sierra Leone group says marginalization, lack of services continuing problems for disabled people there

From Awareness News:

The President of the Sierra Leone Union for Disability Issues (SLUDI), Kabbah Franklyn Bangura, has raised serious concern over the continued marginalization of persons with disability in communities across the country.

Speaking to Awareness Times over the weekend in a snap interview, the President of SLUDI, Mr. Kabbah Franklyn Bangura, noted that many disabled persons in developing countries such as Sierra Leone continue to experience marginalization and lack of access to public services like health care and education.

In Sierra Leone and Liberia for example, Mr. Kabbah Franklyn Bangura said, international donor agencies have provided substantial assistance to those injured during the war, pointing out that no consideration was given to disabled persons.

Mr. Bangura pointed out that there is an urgent need to develop community based programmes for disabled people in the rural areas, as the existing community programmes have so far failed to address the social and economic inclusion of disabled people.

He went on to state that negative attitude and lack of respect for disabled persons by low minded people in society, create further barriers to their inclusion in matters that concern them as legitimate citizens of the state.

He called on government to ensure that they help in creating a leveling playing ground for disabled people to live comfortable lives.

He also called on the government to pass the Persons with Disability Act, noting that the Act creates facilities for disabled people that will make feel like human beings and part and parcel of the society to which they equally belong.

Mr. Bangura appeal to members of parliament to see the need to help advocate for the enactment of the Act.

Mr. Bangura ended by launching a special appeal for civil society organizations, the media and other like minded organizations to join hands together with them in their struggle to earn the care, respect and dignity they are naturally entitled to