PWDS to meet with Duty Bearers on Accessibility to Quality Healthcare
In Ghana, persons with disabilities (PWDs) constitute an impoverished marginalized group. Majority of them lack access to public health, education, and other social services.
They are generally regarded as unproductive and incapable of contributing in a positive way to society, and are rather seen as constituting an economic burden on the family and the society and therefore deserving of neglect, which leaves them in a vicious cycle of poverty.
On issues to do with access to health, there are clear policy guidelines to cater for PWDs. The National Health Policy, for instance, has the key objective to reduce the excessive risk and burden of morbidity, mortality and disability, especially among poor and marginalized groups. These objectives are further articulated in the National Health Insurance Scheme, which seeks to ensure equity in health care coverage; access by the poor to healthcare services and protection of the poor and vulnerable against financial risk. All this notwithstanding, the experiences of PWDs in accessing free and basic healthcare is far from what legal and policy frameworks guarantee them.
In light of the above, Penplusbytes with support from STAR Ghana Foundation is organising a one-day citizens advocacy forum on Friday 31st May in the Volta Regional Capital of Ho, where PWDs and relevant stakeholders will gather to discuss concerns and ways to improve policy implementation.
In attendance to this all-important forum would be PWD groups in the communities, regional representatives of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, the Municipal Assembly, the Municipal health directorate among others.
The “Deliver! Quality Media Amplifying Vulnerable Citizens’ Voices” project is using this forum to achieve one of its key objectives of improving responsiveness of policy makers to citizen needs by engaging duty bearers on evidence-based information from PWDs.
According to the executive Director of Penplusbytes, Juliet Amoah, “For any policy to achieve its true impact, citizens must be involved from its formulation to implementation stage. This is the true essence of an inclusive society. This forum provides a unique platform to influence policy decisions in delivering public services that take into consideration the needs of excluded groups.”
Working in conjunction with partners, Penplusbytes plans to empower citizens especially persons with disabilities, the media and community based organisations in selected project areas, to work hand-in-hand to monitor the delivery of key public services the disabled, advocate for best practices and assess how these impact positively especially in the lives of persons with disabilities.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and driving oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.