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09 August 2017

Gender ministry wants scientists to create aids for physically challenged

Find innovative ways to design movement aids for physically challenged persons to enable them to contribute more prominently to national development.

That’s a charge from Gender and Social Protection Ministry to scientists as efforts continue to normalize lives of persons with disability.

Sector Minister, Otiko Afisa Djaba, says such aids, known as assistive technologies, should attract the attention of scientific and technical experts.

“I would want to urge the College of Health Sciences and Engineering to partner the Ministry of Trade so we ourselves can develop and build assistive technologies in Ghana and Africa as a whole,” she said.

She was speaking at the 5th Africa Network for Evidence to Action-in-Disability and 7th College of Health Sciences Conference in Kumasi.

It is estimated more than one billion people worldwide suffer from disability.

Involving them in everyday activity and encouraging them to take up roles performed by their able-bodied peers is essential for national development.

To achieve this goes beyond just verbal exhortation; it requires appropriate policies and programmes, especially, at the community level.

Minister of Gender and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba spoke of government’s plans to make Braille versions of all statutory publications that will be of relevance to persons with disability.

She hinted of the full implementation of Ghana Standard on accessibility design to ensure all public buildings provide easy access to persons with disability.

The theme for this year’s conference is, “Disability and Inclusion in Africa; the Role of Assistive Technology.”

Prof Usuf Chikte of University of Stellenbosch in South Africa sounded a bit more passionate about the issue.

He said Africa cannot boast of freedom and justice until the needs of disabled persons are adequately addressed.

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