Persons with Disability in Zambia to access COVID-19 information in New Partnership between Amref and Ministry of Heath

by Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa in Zambia has supported the Ministry of Health towards printing of 3,000 IEC (Information, Education and Communication) materials on messages for COVID-19 for the visually impaired people in an effort to ensure that Persons with Disability (PWD) do not lack this critical and essential information.

The IEC material printed in braille is aimed at educating and disseminating information about COVID-19. This will ensure the visually impaired have access and understand protective measures to put in place against the coronavirus disease. Previous lack of information puts them at a higher risk of infection.

According to the World Bank, one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, and disability prevalence is higher for developing countries. Furthermore, the Zambian National Disability survey (2015) indicates that the prevalence of persons living with disabilities in Zambia is at 4.4%.

“The braille material will go a long way to ensure those with visual impairment have access to information which is our demonstration to not only support the general public but also support the most vulnerable groups ensuring that no one is left behind,” says Viviane Sakanga, Head of Country Programme at Amref Health Africa in Zambia.

She encouraged the public and those disseminating various forms of information to consider the vulnerable populations. The IEC material will be available in 71 focal reading locations identified including schools and libraries for the blind.

The IEC materials were handed over to the Minister of Health in Zambia Dr Chitalu Chilufya. The minister lauded Amref for supporting the marginalised groups in ensuring that they too have access to information like everyone else. Dr Chilufya further described the gesture as high impact especially at this crucial time the government is combating the spread of COVID-19.

Amref Health Africa in Zambia is also part of the National COVID-19 Response Taskforce, specifically the committees on Community Response where issues of involvement of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in the response are discussed and Risk communication is developed.

Additionally, Amref will train 160 Community Health Workers (CHWs) on Copperbelt province on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, prevention, control and response for them to protect their communities. Plans are underway to scale up the training in other provinces when resources are available. They will equip the CHWs with printed pamphlets and megaphones to spread COVID-19 messages in their respective communities.

They will also equip health care providers and health facilities with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other essential supplies to protect those on the front line.

Amref Health Africa in Zambia continues to work with the National and Provincial Levels of Zambia Government in the fight against novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

About Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa, headquartered in Kenya, is the largest Africa based international non-governmental organisation (NGO) currently running programmes in over 35 countries in Africa with lessons learnt over 60 years of engagement with governments, communities and partners to increase sustainable health access in Africa. Amref Health Africa also incorporates programme development, fundraising, partnership, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and communication offices in Europe and North America as well as subsidiaries Amref Flying Doctors, Amref Enterprises and the Amref International University.

For more information contact:

Maureen Cherongis

Media and External Relations Officer

Amref Health Africa

[email protected], +254789414328

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