By Dennis Agbo
The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu state, has provided more ramps, drop and pick arena with wheelchair bay and other disability-friendly infrastructure for persons with disabilities.
Management of the hospital has also pledged to provide automobiles, reception offices, offset bills, give more employment to such persons.
Medical Director of the Teaching Hospital, Dr Obinna Onodugo made the pledge during the 2020 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, IDPD, marked by the hospital’s department of Physiotherapy.
Onodugo commended the United Nations for setting aside a day to draw attention to persons with disabilities and urged both public and private organisations to always consider the challenged persons in their structural plans.
“After today we shall have more ramps, more wheelchairs, medical bills relief, employment for the disabled. We also have plans for more receptions and automobiles for persons with disabilities,” Onodugo disclosed.
Head of the Department of Physiotherapy in UNTH, Chinwe Obiekwe lamented that organisations hardly make provisions for the physically challenged persons to climb staircases.
“We want to start implementation from our hospital and make it disability-friendly and we have commenced that. It’s all about the will to do them such as ramps on walkways.
“We have to join hands to ensure that those with disabilities have access to educational institutions, hospitals, financial institutions, churches and in every other place. These people want to participate in every activity as we do, but they have obstacles and we have to join hands to make it possible for them,” Obiekwe said.
Delivering a keynote lecture on ‘Building Back Better: Towards a disability-friendly, Accessible and Sustainable Post COVID-19 World’, the Chairman, National Cardiothoracic Center of Excellence in UNTH, Prof. Badsen Onwebere said that most people with disabilities were not inherently at higher risk for becoming infected with or having severe illness from Covid-19.
He listed common conditions that are considered disabilities to include Arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems, Heart diseases, lung and respiratory problems.
He said it also includes mental illness, Diabetes, Stroke, Cancer and Nervous system disorders.