By Chioma Ndife
Disability Rights Advocacy Centre, DRAC, has commenced her breaking Barriers Project in Anambra State. The project funded by Leprosy Mission Nigeria, was geared at improving access to sexual and reproductive rights for children and youths with disability.
In her remarks, the Head of Programmess, Mrs Amaka Atupulazi, said the programme was designed for stakeholders in the health sector to improve their knowledge and awareness on disability rights. She noted that the purpose of the stakeholders meeting held at Finotel Hotel, Awka, was to introduce the Breaking Barriers Project to the key stakeholders in the state.
She noted that the programme was designed for a period of one year and disclosed that civil society organizations working with children would be co-opted together with stakeholders in the health sector and persons with disability and their caregivers, in order to enable them to have effective understanding of sexual and reproductive rights.
She expressed optimism that the project would facilitate the adoption of the National Policy on Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights of persons with disabilities, with special emphasis on women and children.
Mrs Atupulazi maintained that Anambra State, at the end of the project, would see the implementation of the National Policy on Sexual Health and Reproductive rights at the state level.
Mrs. Atupulazi said the programme targeted youths with disabilities in Anambra State.
Speaking to Fides, the Anambra State Chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disability, Comdr. Ugochukwu Okeke, described the training as apt, saying that there were lots of cases of abuse meted to children and women with disability.
He stated that the strategic meeting would be a road map to drive solution to the cases of abuse currently prevalent in society.
He maintained that the meeting would create more awareness on the dangers of abuse on women and children with disabilities for solution to be proffered and expressed the hope that the approach adopted by the NGO would get to those at the grassroots.
Okeke further disclosed that JONAPWD had requisite structures across various LGAs in Anambra State, saying that its inclusion as partners would ensure that the advocacy of the project penetrated hard-to-reach areas.