Otti’s aide urges training of health care providers on inclusive services 

The Special Assistant to Abia State Governor on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), Mr. David Anyaele, has called for training of health care providers on inclusive health care services.


Anyaele made the call during a courtesy visit to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Ifeyinwa Ume-Kalu, in Umuahia on Monday.


L-R: Dr. Ifeyinwa Ume-Kalu, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Abia , with Mr. David Anyaele, SA to the Governor on Persons with Disabilities.


He  decried PWDs’ challenges at various primary health centres and other public health institutions, such as discrimination by health care service providers.


The governor’s aide reiterated the need for the health care service providers to do their part to ensure equitable access to quality health care for patients with disabilities.


Anyaele said  that one of the reasons for the visit was to seek collaboration with the ministry on issues around health care and PWDs in different fronts.


He expressed concern over the outbreak of cholera in the country and its implications on PWDs in Abia “even though none has been recorded in the state yet.”


According to Anyaele who has physical disability, PWDs suffer most due to limited access to proper hygiene and sanitation.


He continued: “PWDs face challenges at various primary health centres such as discrimination by health care service providers, lack of knowledge of how to manage situations as cholera.


“Information, education and communication materials usually do not target the PWDs, rather they are always targeted at the general public.


“PWDs do not have their data captured whenever cases such as cholera occur.


” Nobody takes time to understand or give response on the number of people with disabilities that have been either diagnosed or supported in the process.


“As such, they are most vulnerable when this kind of situation occurs.”


“We are recommending that we can work together to reach the disability community around information, education and communication that can help them to understand their roles and responsibilities.”


Responding, the Permanent Secretary,
Ume-Kalu, reiterated Gov. Alex Otti’s resolve to ensure inclusiveness in his administration.


She said that the governor does not discriminate, stressing that he made his  appointments based on merit, including having a non indigene of Abia as Permanent Secretary.


“For him to have appointed you as the SA on PWDs, it means he has attention and his eyes on people with disabilities.


“This government is passionate about people that don’t have voices, people that can’t walk into his office to tell him things.


“And to have a voice to speak for them, is a plus for the administration,” he said.


Ume-Kalu pledged the ministry’s support  for PWDs, saying that nobody should be left behind because of his or her disability.


The permanent secretary, who disclosed that there was no outbreak or confirmed case of cholera in the state.


She, however, emphasised the importance of  access to potable water and clean environment for PWDs, to prevent the outbreak of the disease.


She assured Anyaele that all the issues raised would be considered, including the data concern.