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Persons with disabilities must be included in vaccine rollout strategy, says ICOD Zim

Colleen Chitsa

MASVINGO – The Institute for Community Development in Zimbabwe
(Icod Zim) has called upon government to prioritize people with disabilities in
its Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan, saying the group represented some of the
most marginalised communities in the country.

The rollout plan which was
released last week by the Ministry of Health and Child Care does not include
PWDs as a priority.

The country received 200 000
doses of SinoPharm vaccine from China on February 15, while 1.8 million more
doses are expected to arrive from Russia.

The organization says any
potential neglect of the disability community in the vaccine rollout exercise
would result in deprivation of the group from realizing the right to health as
enunciated in Section 81 of the Constitution.

In a statement, Icod Zim implores
government to ‘immediately provide on the side effects of Covid-19 vaccines
with emphasis on the possible implications to persons with disabilities
especially those with mental challenges and others already battling other
chronic illnesses.

The organisation says it is
government’s responsibility yet again to promote, protect and facilitate the
realization of constitutionally provided rights for persons with disabilities
in accordance with Cection 83 of the Constitution.

The organisation also calls for
‘an urgent engagement of institutions of, and persons with disabilities to
deliberate on how they can be included in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan.’

The organization also expects the
government and other stakeholders in the frontline Cocid-19 responses to timely
disseminate correct and reliable information in disability-accessible
formats like Braille, large print, videos with captions and sign language.

Icod Zim is a non-partisan woman
found and led non-governmental organization for women operating in Masvingo and
Midlands provinces of Zimbabwe. It targets women and girls with disabilities in
rural, commercial farm and mining communities.

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TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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