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Minister promotes rights of PWDs

The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ms. Otiko Afisah Djaba has called on the nation to eliminate the negative perception people have that disability is a curse. “We must collectively work harder to celebrate their abilities, for disability is not inability.”

The Hon. Minister  said this  when she presented Ghana’s case at the 10th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

“We want to ensure that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are heard, and most importantly, involved so that we have meaningful participation and full inclusion.”

She said that the government of Ghana has developed a cordial relationship with persons with disabilities and their representatives of organizations. She revealed that the NPP government has disability as a priority issue in its Agenda and currently intensifying efforts on the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities and Disabled People’s Organization (DPOs) in the country’s development process.

The Government of Ghana fully supports the ratification of the Marrakesh treaty and is teaming up with the Ghana Blind Union and other institutions in this endeavour. The treaty which seeks to facilitate access to published works for persons, who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise printed disabled would bring enormous benefits to Ghana she added.

Furthermore, combating multiple discrimination against persons with disabilities was essential for implementation of the 2030 agenda and the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for all.

It will also seek to ensure inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action, as well as promoting inclusive urban development and implementation of the New Urban Agenda she added.

However, she also expressed concern over the lack of accurate and complete data on persons with disabilities, calling for a clear recommendation on ensuring disaggregated data as well as methodology to collect it.

“Without baseline data, we will not be able to measure any impact of important tools [such as the SDGs and CRPD] on advancing the cause of persons with disabilities.”

In any meeting, at the community level, district level and national level, persons with disabilities should be included. It is not enough to talk about it, we as people has to ”walk the talk” for it is their potential and contribution that we need she explained.

Ms. Djaba said, measures of inclusion will be developed and the National disability act will be reviewed so that we can look at the gaps and challenges and prepare properly for their aspect of their lifestyle to ensure the sustainability of the rights of persons with disability.

Every child of school going age, which includes persons with disability, will be in school and that will start in September.

We will make sure they take advantage of all the social intervention, the LEAP, the cash plan and skills training.

The Hon. Minister  said, about  25,000 beneficiaries of the Ghana Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) have also been registered under the National Health Insurance Scheme to enable them to have access to  healthcare and assistive devices.

To ensure that the resources get to the right people, the Minister disclosed that the National Council for Persons with Disability had developed a mechanism to independently monitor the disbursement of the (LEAP) funds.

She cautioned people against fraudsters who are asking people for an amount of money to register them to be a LEAP beneficiary.

This year’s conference was themed, “The Second Decade of the CRPD: Inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities and their representative’s organizations in the implementation of the Convention” and aims to promote the rights and advancement of persons with disabilities as well as other relevant human rights.

WHO calls for elimination of Hepatitis B virus

New data released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reveals that an estimated 325 million people worldwide are living with chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) or Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July and brings the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change.

The WHO Global hepatitis report-2017 indicates that the large majority of these people lack access to life-saving testing and treatment.

Approximately 1.75 million people were newly infected with HCV in 2015, bringing the global total of people living with Hepatitis C to 71 million.

According to WHO report, it is said viral hepatitis caused 1.34 million deaths in 2015, a number comparable to deaths caused by tuberculosis and HIV. But while mortality from tuberculosis and HIV has been declining, deaths from hepatitis are on the increase.

Globally, 84 percent of children born in 2015 received the three recommended doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine. Between the pre-vaccine era (which, according to the year of introduction can range from the 1980s to the early 2000s) and 2015, the proportion of children under 5 years of age with new infections fell from 4.7 to 1.3 percent.

On World Hepatitis Day 2017, we can build on this momentum and accelerate progress towards achieving the goal of elimination by 2030.

This year’s theme Eliminate Hepatitis is a simple call to action. Regardless of your priorities, to achieve elimination, greater awareness, increased diagnosis and key interventions including universal vaccination, blood and injection safety, harm reduction and treatment are all needed. Every activity that addresses viral hepatitis is a step towards eliminating it.

The elimination of viral hepatitis is not just a public health goal – it is an individual goal for millions of men, women and children across the world. Every single person could be affected by viral hepatitis and we all have a part to play to achieve elimination.

Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. There are five different hepatitis viruses, hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.

Hepatitis A is spread mainly through eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated by the faeces of an infected person. It can also be spread by eating raw shellfish that have come from water contaminated by sewage.

There is a vaccination for hepatitis A. Treatment within a few weeks of exposure to the virus can also bring short term immunity. You can reduce the risk of exposure by practicing good hygiene and sanitation, and avoiding drinking water that has come from a potentially unsafe source.

As hepatitis A only causes acute hepatitis, the body is often able to clear the infection itself within a few weeks. However, hepatitis A infections can sometimes cause further complications so it will better to visit your doctor for regular check-up.


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