Inclusive responses are required to tackle Covid-19 ©

World Bank / Ousmane Traore

 June 2020

The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme is working with relevant agencies to promote inclusive responses to COVID-19. The work has received positive responses from key government agencies, particularly to the benefit of persons with disabilities.  

In Adamawa state, RoLAC supported advocacy for the deployment of sign language interpreters for communication with persons with hearing impairments. As a result, the State COVID-19 Containment Committee engaged the services of four sign language interpreters to render services at testing and isolation centres. 

The Chairman of the Committee highlighted the all-inclusive approach of the government that considers all citizens, irrespective of their health or physical status. He also noted that the importance of sign language interpreters cannot be over-emphasized, especially during COVID-19 when information is key to the prevention and treatment of the virus. 

In Anambra state, the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) was supported to carry out inspection visits to COVID-19 isolation centres to ensure that they are disability-friendly. The visits, a subsequent press release and recommendations resulted in the appointment of a Disability Committee to be part of the COVID–19 Advisory Committee in the state.

‘Each and every person with a disability is equally entitled to all information and services targeted at the citizens of the state. We are employing the services of sign language interpreters to ensure that every person with hearing impairments is well informed about this virus and can access services at the testing and isolation centres without communication barriers.’

Chairman, Adamawa State, COVID-19 Containment Committee

‘During lockdown, we had over 40 reported cases, including a four-year old raped by her father. We need to take the National Sexual Offenders Register to the public to serve as a deterrent to sexual assault.’

Dame Julie Okah-Donli, Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP)