The national social protection policy does not cover People With Disabilities (PWD) and organisations representing them and as a result, PWDs are failing to access social services including basic medical care.
This is in accordance to research findings publicised by Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) that is still progressing with the study in three districts of Nachingwea, Mbeya and Muheza.
REPOA which research started the research back in April of this year is now calling for more efforts to ensure that social protection programmes are more inclusive especially of the most vulnerable groups like PWDs.
Director of Social Protection from REPOA Dr Flora Myamba told journalists yesterday in Dar es Salaam that most of the policies formed by government don’t involve PWDs.
“People with disabilities are given limited consideration during the discussions on social protection policies,” she said and urged for greater consideration and inclusiveness if related programmes are to be successful.
‘It’s important for policy makers to identify the needs of these special groups,” she urged.
“Some of the issues are so obvious, for instance, the group sometimes fails to attend meetings because the infrastructure is not PWD friendly,” she said citing an example of the fact that public transport in Tanzania has no consideration for wheelchairs, road safety does not account for the visually impaired among other things.
“It is important that PWD’s are given opportunities to participate in development activities since they have the abilities just like any other persons,” she added.
REPOA Executive Director Prof Samuel Wangwe said the objective of the study is to assess the existing data and literature regarding the inclusion of PWDs in social protection programmes in the country.
“The study also undertakes a gender analysis to identify the inclusive and particular needs for social protection of girls and women with disability,” he noted.
He also said the study is among other efforts covering the planning, implementation, evaluation and delivery of social protection to be more inclusive of PWDs.
Speaking at the same event ,Advocacy Programme Manager Fredrick Msiga from Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) said issues that involve PWDs can be best spoken by the PWDs themselves instead of others speaking on their behalf and thus urged for inclusiveness in decision making processes.
“All issues involving PWD should be best expressed by them just as we are the masters of our own issues,’ he said.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN