LNFOD Calls for Inclusive Response COVID-19 in Lesotho
30 March, 2020
The Lesotho National Federation of Organisations of the Disabled (LNFOD) supports the government of Lesotho’s and other stakeholders in fighting the dreadful pandemic COVID1 19. It is also willing to support in every possible manner in shaping a disability inclusive response to the COVID 19.
The organization believes that a response that leaves no one behind is foundational to saving the entire nation from being swept away by this dreadful disease. LNFOD observed however that the current protective measures pronounced by the Prime- Minister and Ministry of health are to some extent not disability inclusive. For an example, people are advised to cough inside their elbows yet this is the position where the guide of the visually impaired people are held when walking.
In addition, it is similarly not clear how social distancing should apply to people with severe disabilities and their personal assistants. It is also not mentioned whether there is support for persons with disability and their personal assistants.
From the forgoing LNFOD has observed that people with disabilities and their families or personal assistants are at more risk of sustaining COVOD 19. There is a potential that people with disabilities will be abandoned by their assistants in fear of COVID 19. LNFOD therefore recommend as follows:
Messages about COVID 19 be availed formats accessible to people of all types of disabilities. These include Braille, Sign Language, Audios and messages in pictures (simplified messages. the messages should also be spread across the country.
There should be additional protective measures for people with certain types of disabilities, e.g deaf blind, their family members and their tactile sign language people must cover their hands with clean tissue or toilet roll and immediately through in the trash bin and clean their hands.
Family members and or care givers of persons with disabilities must be trained on how to avoid the infection and spread of COVID 19.
There should be additional support in the form of training, hand sanitisers, protective clothes, and face masks for those support people with disabilities.
Health professional for COVID 19 should be capacitated on how to handle people with various forms of disability who may need healthcare services in relation to COVID 19.
All preparedness and responsive plans must be made win consultation with the representatives of people with disabilities, so that they are inclusive of and accessible to people with disabilities.
During quarantine, support services, personal assistance, physical and communication accessibility must be ensured.
Measures of public restrictions must consider persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.
LNFOD is willing to support the government of Lesotho and its other stakeholders in shaping a disability inclusive response to COVID 19, for the protection of the whole Basotho Nation. To defeat this an inclusive approach is vital.
For more information, please contact:
Makatleho Molotsi (Adv) at +266 58687539
Nkhasi sefuthi (Adv) at +266 632017 83
Makananelo Ramoholi +266 58009262 and
Rabasotho Moeletsi (Mr) +266 58700925 or visit our website at www.lnfo.org.ls