People with disabilities’ rights ‘abused’ during lockdown says charity

People with disabilities’ rights ‘abused’ during lockdown says charity Amina Mohammed (38), a physically challenged woman in a wheelchair avails of food distribution. She is a mother of four children

People with disabilities in developing countries are being left behind due to lockdown measures and pressure on healthcare due to the pandemic, an Irish charity have said.

Christian Blind Mission (CBM) in Ireland was established in 2002. CBM International is a worldwide network of 10 organisations working in 53 countries.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic, CBM Programme Manager Louise Talbot Beirne, who is based in Ireland, said: “People with disabilities are left behind, generally they were left behind during Covid, and so there has been far less progress made in the past few years than there should have been.

“People with disabilities, their rights were abused, they didn’t get the care that they needed, they were disproportionately affected by Covid itself, so we want to be able to make up that difference and to support people with disabilities as much as we can to firstly get back to where they were and then secondly of course to be moving forwards.”

Currently they are working on a three-year project in Ethiopia called ‘Bridge the Gap’, with Ms Talbot Beirne saying: “It’s about bridging the gaps between people with disabilities and the rights and services that they’re entitled to so a big part of that is supporting people to get access to health care, access to education, access to financial institutions to civil society, it covers quite a broad spectrum of areas of work and it’s funded by Irish Aid as well as some other donors.

“It started in late 2018 and it’s finishing in this coming September so about 18 months of the project, half of the project, has been affected by Covid so of course we had to quite significantly changed the plan,” she said.