Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Tuesday presented 20,000 wheelchairs to Persons with Disability (PWDs) to facilitate mobility and enhance their dignity. The wheelchairs initiative was by the Government and the World Bank to support PWDs and some health institutions across the country.
“I am delighted to announce that the Government, in partnership with the World Bank, is providing 20,000 wheelchairs to be distributed to our brothers and sisters with disability,” the Vice President said.
“Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, will ensure fair distribution across the country. Each district will have its share of the wheelchairs through the various district health directorates.”
“The donation of these wheelchairs to stakeholders and PWDs will enhance personal mobility, a precondition for enjoying human rights and living in dignity and assist them to become more productive members of society.”
Dr Bawumia noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had taught governments and humanity how to adopt new ways to improve lives of citizens. Government was exploring opportunities to remove existing barriers in public buildings, educational systems, healthcare and in the job market to provide opportunities for persons with disability, he said.
Dr Bawumia recounted some of the social interventions government had provided for PWDs over the past four years, which included four million Ghana cedis entrepreneurial support to 2,000 members to improve their businesses.
The Vice President thus, called for collective actions by all stakeholders to minimise circumstances that denied PWDs and other citizens the benefits of personal mobility. The World Health Organisation said motorised accidents did not only cause death but also left occupants and innocent pedestrians disabled.
Dr Bawumia, therefore, urged road users to abide by the traffic rules and regulations and implored the National Road Safety Authority and Ghana Police Service to work towards curbing pedestrian knockdowns as drivers were increasingly disrespecting pedestrian crossing regulations.
“We will surely accelerate our efforts in all directions, and keep reminding ourselves that Government cannot do it all alone, especially in the face of this pandemic, and so the responsibility to stimulate growth, create jobs, and achieve shared prosperity in communities accessible to all rests with all of us,” he said.
“We are agents of our own destiny, seeking an equal place in the Ghanaian Society,” the Vice President stated, and gave the assurance that government would work tirelessly to remove obstacles that hindered PWDs from achieving their full potentials.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Health Minister, said the presentation of the wheelchairs formed part of the “Agenda 111” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, to improve healthcare for all Ghanaians.
The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations was grateful to government for the gesture.