Hundreds of persons with disabilities (PWDs) from Mezam Division in the NW Region have been screened of different health conditions and also acquired disability cards on the occasion of the 2022 International Day for Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2022.
This year’s activities took place at the CBC Nkwen Primary School premises, organized by the CBC Health Services in collaboration with the Coordinating Unit of Associations of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWD) within the context of the Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Project (DIHA). DIHA is implemented in the North West Region by the CBC Health Services with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) through CBM. Celebrations this year took place under the theme, “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world”
Activities this year included free consultation and screening of persons with disabilities with challenges of physiotherapy, eye, mental health, Ear, Nose and Throat, non-communicable diseases, women’s health and general health issues.
The uniqueness of this year’s celebrations was the availability of a one stop shop for the acquisition of disability cards, a necessary identification document for persons with disabilities whose disability cards had expired. Available to ease the process was a photographer for instant passport size photographs, an official from the office of the Divisional Officer for signing of residency certificates and a state medical Doctor for assessment of disability percentages, a move which was greatly appreciated by persons with disabilities.
Speaking during the event, the Coordinator of the Coordinating Unit of the Associations of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWD) of the Northwest Region, Mr. Chick Sama said following this year’s theme, the one stop shop for the acquisition of disability cards and the screening of persons with disabilities of different conditions at the same venue was an innovation to enable persons with disabilities have access to different services. He also noted that to enable access, sign language interpreters were deployed to ease communication for persons with hearing impairments. The success of this innovation is thanks to the collaboration of the Unit with the CBC Health Services and the Nkwen District Hospital under the leadership of Dr. Ngum Joel who dispatched a doctor and nurse to do the screening.
Speaking during the event, the DIHA Project Coordinator, Asheri Ngah welcomed all the persons with disabilities and congratulated them for their achievements. She told them that the day is also an opportunity during which the attention of development actors is drawn to take the needs and rights of persons with disabilities in all development sectors. She noted that in line with the theme of this year’s celebration, with emphasis on access, the CBCHS decided to offer free health screening for different health conditions at the same venue which is a rare opportunity for persons with disabilities.
The day was also characterised by health education talks on women’s health complications including prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, obstetric fistula, 16 days activism against gender-based violence, and non-communicable diseases among others. Also, a total of 98 dignity and mama kits were provided to young girls, and pregnant and lactating mothers.
Speaking earlier, the Chairperson of the CUAPWD, Nongning Armelle encouraged family members of persons with disabilities to educate their members with disabilities. She celebrated the CBC Health Services, Services for Persons with Disabilities (SPD) for empowering them and for preaching and breathing disability inclusion everywhere they go.
By the end of the day, more than 500 persons with disabilities had been consulted by the CBCHS screening teams. Meanwhile, 222 completed official procedures for the acquisition of disability cards which shall be ready in a month’s time.
The day which was attended by more than 700 persons with disabilities was spiced by acapella and traditional dance rhythms by the Hope Social Union for the Visually impaired, an association of people with visual impairments in Bamenda.