USE OF CRUTCHES IS A RIGHT
Ms Aero Ketty is a District Council Representative for the Persons with Disability in Kotido District
Ketty was met during a URAA-organized Social Accountability meeting, which was geared towards raising awareness for Older Persons and other Special Interest Groups(SIGS) on their roles and responsibilities towards Social Accountability in their respective District.
In this meeting she voiced her concerns about the disunity between the Special Interest Groups since each has no idea of what the other is doing, in addition, she voiced her concerns on the discrimination within the health facilities in the way Persons with Disability (PwD) are treated and how sometimes old age is defined as a disease including the community view PwD with pity, for example, she had to say, “I used wooden walking sticks to support myself but the day I used crutches I was asked by my friends in the community if I had an accident, I wondered because the crutches gave me better support and I have the right to use crutches”. She went on to say that “there is little awareness in the community about the rights of persons with disability for which she called upon all representatives of SIGs to create awareness in their different constituencies and in their respective arears in the communities to avoid such discrimination.”
The meeting was however instrumental for the Community members, Political leaders, and the leaders of the Older Persons, Women, Youth, and PwD to agree on their respective roles and plans to advocate in their respective constituencies and also reflect on what has been achieved and how to overcome similar challenges in future.
Ms Aero Ketty was appreciative to the URAA and MGLSD team for the meeting which created awareness amongst themselves and the opportunity it offered for the representatives to ask their district leaders about various concerns they had on behalf of the SIGs but for some time did not have an avenue to air them out; for example they asked; why there were few beds in hospitals, lack of proper information on the allocation of funds given by the government to improve the livelihood of Older Person such as SAGE and SEGOP.
The District Technical and Political Leaders also gave their opinions on some concerns and called upon leaders to always have correct and specific data concerning the people they are leading for example the leader of PwD needs to be cognizant of the actual number of people they lead so as in case there is a supply of assistive devices they are sure of whom and how many to supply backed up with the correct information. Therefor use of crutches is a right as it improves the functionality in the work of advocacy lobbing for increased service delivery to SIGs.
Compiled by Mackline Racheal Ajambo