What started as disease limited primarily to China sometime in December 2019 has now rapidly grown to become a global pandemic. COVID-19 has affected everyone, directly or indirectly; Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), due to factors ranging from inaccessible information to inaccessible heath services, are not spared. They may even be the worst affected. SAFOD has drafted COVID-19 Response Strategy for PWDs in Southern Africa that proposes a list of interventions that will help them survive.
As the SADC countries prepare for strategic multi-stakeholder responses, most Governments in Southern Africa were taken unawares, as a result they are no sufficient funding/resources, as well as technical expertise to address the epidemic especially if it continues to rise. The fear is that if the situation overwhelmed bigger economies like Spain and Italy, chances are that the situation might even likely be frighteningly worse in resource-constrained SADC nations.
This response strategy- available for downloading here: https://www.safod.net/safod-content/cid/143/regional-covid-19-response-strategy-for-persons-with-disabilities/ - proposes a list of interventions targeting persons with disabilities and their carers through our national affiliates who constitute federations of Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs) in the countries we work. We will also conduct data analysis exercise to inform more effective responses: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L5NWQNQ
The main long-term goal is to reduce infection and and increase impact of COVID-19 responses among persons with disabilities in Southern Africa, through supporting SAFOD's affiliates and key stakeholders at national levels in the development of effective and inclusive national response strategies. This will lead to sustainable mainstreaming of disability into health services and programs ensuring increased access to quality health services related to COVID-19 by Persons with Disabilities.