Written by Fru Rita Ngum
The First Deputy Mayor of Wum Council has called on the population of his municipality to put self-interest aside, to sacrifice, and to advocate for each other and embrace inclusive development. Mayor Hamza Umaru was speaking recently during an outreach planning meeting organized by the Council as part of its activities spelled out on a MoU signed between the Council and Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) programme in August 2015.
Mayor Hamza revealed that the meeting was just one in a series of well-designed activities that the council will go ahead to implement. He acknowledged that with the training on inclusive development acquired from the SEEPD programme, the goal of the Council will be among other things to improve on the well-being of the population in the municipality including persons with disabilities and also prevent, treat, and rehabilitate disability.
Chief of Center for Wum Urban Integrated Health Center, Mrs. Ayoni Elizabeth noted that the outreach program is a laudable initiative as it complements the work that the Health Center is doing given that they do not have specialists in Ear, Nose Throat, Physiotherapy and some other illness.
During another outreach planning meeting by the Nkambe Council, stakeholders described persons with disabilities as “nation builders”. Speaking at the start of the meeting that took place at the Nkambe Council Hall, Mayor Ngabir Paul Bantar called on the population to include persons with disabilities in all that they do stating that they play a vital role in the developmental process. He highlighted himself as someone who was vibrant and strong but now has a temporal disability. He reiterated that anybody can acquire a disability at one point in life.
The Mayors in the aforementioned meetings appreciated the SEEPD programme for the technical support given to the Councils. The community members on their part continue to thank the Councils and the SEEPD programme for the partnership which will improve on their health, education and livelihood in their respective communities.
In the separate meetings, the community members came up with outreach schedules detailing where the outreach screening programs will take place in the coming days. They are expected to mobilize the public during outreach programs while the SEEPD programme will bring on board a medical team to do the screening.
The meetings ended with the adoption of a volunteering model for the Councils. In Wum, the Council administrators agreed to divide the municipality into five zones and recruit five volunteers that will work with persons with disabilities. Meanwhile in Nkambe, the Council administrators agreed to recruit five volunteers.
The SEEPD programme will in the days ahead organize a workshop to train the volunteers in order to enable them do their job more effectively. The objective of outreach screening is to bring the medical services nearer to the people in other to ensure the prevention of disability for all at risk and to treat and rehabilitate those with disabilities.