As Rivers state joins the rest of the world to observe the United Nations International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), with the Theme: Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality, persons living with disabilities in the state have called for inclusion in accessing health care services delivery.
Public Health Practitioner Ndifreke Essien, made the call during a free medical outreach for persons living with disabilities on Monday.
The outreach which was organized by the rivers state branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, offered medical services including HIV Tests, Blood Sugar Tests and Dental Cares.
She noted that these are some of the services which are denied physically challenged persons in the state.
“In the course of my work, I found out that access to health care delivery is difficult for persons with disabilities.
“Sometimes it is difficult going to medical centres. For others, they have the mentality that when a physically challenged persons goes to the hospital, they won’t be attended to.
” Through research, I found out also that many persons with disabilities don’t have access to health care because they feel they don’t need it‘’
Earlier, Chairman Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Adebiyi Obelebra, said the free medical outreach is targeted to treat about 200 disabled perons and will be carried out in eight local government area of the state.
“We are working together as a team, as we examine them, if there are those in need of surgical intervention that we cannot handle now, we have partners such as Doctors, Nurses, surgeons and Pharmacists ready to assist us in providing free medical services for them.
“We have Omuma, Etche, Ikwerre, Asari- Toru, Degema, Gokana, Obio/Apkor and Portharcourt City Council benefiting from the free medical service ‘’
Some beneficiaries, who spoke to our reporter Tina Amanda, thanked Nigeria Medical Association for giving them the opportunity to access free medical care, adding that such services are rare.
They further expressed concern that people living with disabilities have serious health problems but can not get quality treatment as a result of lack of resources.