PERSONS with Disabilities in Malaita Province last Friday celebrated the International Day of persons with Disabilities in Auki.
The International Day of persons with Disabilities was marked in Auki under the theme, “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post covid-19 world.”
The event started with a parade from St Paul Anglican church in Auki to Auki Central Market where the event took place.
Speaking at the event, Malaita Provincial Health Director Dr. Rex Maukera said more than 1 billion people worldwide experience disability.
He said the figure is expected to rise due to ageing and increase of non-communicable disease.
In the local context, he said there is an increase in people living with diabetes with their legs amputated.
Not only that, but he said there is an increase in the number of people with stroke.
Dr. Maukera in his speech said,
“….while disability correlates with disadvantage, not all people living with disabilities are equally disadvantaged.”
He added, much depends on the context in which they live and whether they have equal access to health, education and employment among others.
“As government and the international community continue to battle the covid-19 pandemic and chart a course forward, it is essential that disability inclusion is central to health system planning, development, and decision making.”
By WILSON SAENI