A former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba has launched an ambitious campaign to mobilize at least 16,000 wheel chairs and walking aids to support some deprived persons with physical disabilities (PWDs) in Ghana.
Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba who is the Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation is determined to mobilize a minimum of 1,000 wheelchairs per each of the 16 regions of Ghana with the prime objective of restoring the dignity, confidence and pride of the PWDs. It is also to facilitate their movement and socio-economic activities.
The renowned philanthropist, disability and women advocate has been at the forefront of Ghana’s fight for the promotion of the rights and protection of vulnerable women and persons with disability over the years.
Speaking at the official launch of the 1000 wheelchairs and walking aids per region campaign held at the Christ The King Cathedral in Accra, Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba in her welcome address lamented how the Ghanaian society had disrespected, marginalized and discriminated against persons with disability over the years.
According to her, the disabled persons also have fundamental human rights like any other citizen of Ghana, and those rights needed to be respected by all.
“For too long in Ghana we have had a lot of disrespect for persons with disability and so we need to come together as a people: chiefs, political leaders, religious leaders, CBOs, media and ordinary Ghanaians to change our behavior towards the vulnerable people especially the persons with disability”.
She revealed that out of the 187,522 physically challenged persons in Ghana only 30% have wheelchairs and walking aids, which is adversely affecting their development and dignity in society.
Dr. Otiko Djaba assured that her Foundation would continue to mobilize more wheelchairs and walking aids until the last physically challenged person who needs it is provided for.
She bewailed that it was not dignified for some persons with disability to walk on their buttocks, knees or with their bare hands whether rain or shine. She therefore encouraged the people of Ghana to learn to show some love, support and care much for the needy and the PWDs.
One of the Guest Speakers Dr. Joyce Rosalind Aryee, Executive Director of Salt and Light Ministries lauded Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba and her Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation for the initiative and called on donor organisations, religious organisations, NGOs and other individuals to donate massively towards the project.
By Boateng Wonder