The Amputee Coalition of Nigeria (ACON), an NGO, has appealed to government and relevant stakeholders in the society to end stigma and discrimination against Persons Living With Disability (PWDs).
The ACON National Secretary, Mr George Anwayi, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had in January, signed into law the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, following nine years of advocacy by right groups and activists.
Anwayi, decried the challenges faced by the PWDs, particularly their inability to access some buildings, secure jobs, as well as the discrimination due to their challenges.
“We realized that amputees have peculiar challenges which most people don’t understand, and that has led some amputees into depression and a feeling of hopelessness.
“Another mobility challenge is the difficulty amputees’ face in accessing buildings and other public and private facilities, especially those who lost their legs.
“Quite a number of amputees are not able to secure jobs because of stigma and discrimination by employers.’’
He, therefore, appealed to the government and relevant stakeholders to support all PWDs and ensure full implementation of the Disabilities Act.
“If Government, Development Partners, religious organizations, private sector and other good-hearted individuals will support the activities of the Coalition, it will in no small major, enhance the lives of amputees across Nigeria.
“We will keep campaigning, sensitizing and creating awareness to the general public about the fact that amputees are normal human beings with intellect, talents, gifts, special abilities and value to give to the society.
“Therefore, there is no need to discriminate or stigmatize against them.
“We will also work hard with other special abilities groups to ensure the full implementation of the disability right law which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari,’’ Anwayi said.
Anwayi said the NGO helped amputees live a more meaningful life post-amputation through peer support services, counseling, sports activities, access to prosthesis, job creation, advocacy, education and training as well as the fight against stigma and discrimination.