Story By Wendy Kakie Ocansey and Bernice Glefoti
In developing nations, where the vast bulk of the estimated 650 million people with disabilities reside, a great deal of work is needed to address concerns ranging from accessibility to public places including hospitals, banks, malls, etc. and education to self-empowerment, self -supporting employment and beyond. The lack of appropriate services for people with disabilities is a significant barrier to healthcare.
Physical barriers such as uneven access to buildings (hospitals, health centres), poor signage, narrow doorways, internal steps, inadequate bathroom facilities, etc. create barriers to health care facilities. For example women with mobility difficulties are often unable to access breast and cervical cancer screening because examination tables are not height adjustable and mammography equipment only accommodates women who are able to stand.
Disability results from consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, intellectual, mental, sensory, developmental or some combination of these that results in restrictions on an individual’s ability to participate in what is considered ‘’normal’’ in their everyday society.
A disability may be present from birth or occur during a person’s lifetime.
Challenges faced by people with disabilities of any kind is quite disheartening because of the limitations on participation in social life imposed on them due to their constraints.
The visually impaired do not have difficulties as much as those who are crippled because the can use their cane as a means of showing them where to walk or stand. For the crippled, they cannot move if there are stairs but rather sloping isle which makes it easier for the wheelchair to move.
Public transport normally known as ‘trotro’ can be very inconvenient because of space and time. Mostly the ‘mates’ are in a hurry and would not wait to help fold up the wheelchair and carry disabled people into their vehicle. But taxis are more comfortable because they are chatted and will not give pressure to hurry up.
Disabled people normally say they are treated badly without respect due to many television and radio report.
In Samuels’s case, whenever he goes for treatment, there are nurses to assist him in the hospital. He said he has never been neglected by any nurse but rather taken care of.
Hospitals in the regional capital-Greater Accra, have facilities which make movement and entrance of disabled patients easier into their health care centres. Even though some face challenges during and after treatment, others are happy and comfortable with their health care providers.
Physical disability causes mental anguish especially to those who are unable to do things using their limb or limbs.