SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY ON COVID-19 RESPONSE FOR PERSON WITH DISABILITIES.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared coronavirus a global pandemic. It is affecting people all across the globe. Whether it means being quarantined on a cruise ship, finding alternative childcare, losing wages, or actually being infected, people's health and daily lives are changing in big ways.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised the world that COVID-19 is a deadly disease that has potential to wipe out the human population if we do not take precautions. This means that all human beings must be informed and must participate in all precautionary measures in order to live.

According to the UN SDGS, no one should remain behind in education, health issues and prosperity. Since persons with disabilities are at the peripherals of the society, they are usually the last individuals to receive information.

In view of this, I have noticed that most of the times, persons with disabilities (deaf people) in African governments are at the peripherals of information released on how to help person with disabilities (deaf people) are considered at the very last minute for anything good in societies. To illustrate this perception, one can look at the way information on the corona virus has been communicated to the general populous.

In view of the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus), persons with disabilities (deaf people) in African countries live in isolation of not receiving much needed information on COVID-19, supplies of pairs of face masks, hand sanitizers, soap, hand washing facilities, COVID-19 IEC materials, sensitization awareness in disabled communities and health care facilities, COVID-19 community radio programmes & social media platforms and other accessories to protect themselves.

I call upon governments in Africa to ensure all COVID-19 response and recovery plans are accountable and protect human rights, as well as strengthen public services and social protections to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Even as governments declare national disasters and emergencies, they must remain accountable to their people for all decisions made. Our African leaders are required by law to explain and justify how public resources, as well as private donations and international relief funds, are planned, disbursed and spent.

Transparency in emergencies is paramount. In crises, there is increased risk of mismanagement and misappropriation of available funds and resources. Plans and budgets as well as financial and performance information must be openly and proactively provided to the public.

Our African governments must provide spaces for public participation to inform appropriate emergency responses. Procurement of public services must be fast and efficient, but also guard against mismanagement and corruption."

COVID-19 pandemic will hit women, the poor and the most marginalised the hardest in African countries and the crisis is exposing disastrous and tragic gaps in the delivery of public services such as healthcare.

We need leaders to hold themselves to the highest standards of accountability, particularly in times of crisis; ensuring delivery of key public services (such as healthcare and food) reaches those most affected."

Our African government need to roll out a large-scale screening, testing, tracing and a medical management programme, to manage and respect the rights of persons with disabilities in the provision of limiting the spread of the virus and reduce the impact on poor person with disabilities (deaf people),.

Patrick Maboshe

Freelance Journalist.

Zambia.

Whatsapp/text/call #: +260979997382.

Email: maboshepat@yahoo.co.uk