MUSAWA demands that the Ministry of Health harmonize the pandemic control standards and procedures for people with disabilities

H.E. Dr. May Al-Kaila,

The Honorable Minister of Health,

Topic: Excluding PWDs from programs to combat the Corona pandemic, deepening discrimination and a threat to public health. It is about time to empower PWDs to access their right to life and hold accountable those responsible for depriving them of prevention and treatment

MUSAWA - The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession greets you, indicating that the center organized a dialogue workshop on the rights of PWDs to hold public office on 12/8/2021. Representatives of institutions concerned with the rights of PWDs as well as PWDs of both sexes participated in that session. During the session, it was revealed that there was an exclusion of PWDs, especially those with Hearing and physical disabilities, from accessing programs to combat the Corona pandemic, whether those related to awareness and introduction of prevention measures and home quarantine, or informing them of the epidemiological situation, requirements for individual prevention, preventive treatment and medicines used in them, and depriving them of access to health protocols in a language, tools and mechanisms appropriate and adapted for people with disabilities.

The speakers pointed out the non-use of sign language for people with hearing disabilities by all agencies, departments and officials in the ministries of health, information and hospitals, in addition to the lack of allocating media bulletins or means of clarification that would enable other PWDs to deal with the requirements of facing the pandemic, in addition to the lack of adaptation of centers and points. And the medical facilities designated to the provision of the vaccine, not to mention the failure to inform the PWDs of the developments in the epidemiological situation and the measures taken by the government such as lockdowns and restrictions on movement and other measure that have an impact on the course of public life, in addition to excluding them from campaigns to encourage vaccination and its benefits and the need to maintain distance and use medical masks and sterilization tools that were not provided to PWDs and their families, in accordance with the provisions of the laws in force, to provide them free of charge to all PWDs and their families.

We, MUSAWA, as we express our shock of what the participants in the dialogue indicated, we see it as an expression of an official shortcoming in facing the pandemic and securing life conditions not only for PWDs and their families, but also for the entire community because the spread of the epidemic among PWDs is increasing the trend of spread and threatens the lives of citizens with the greatest damage, as we see in what the speakers addressed as an expression of failure to fulfill the requirements of the public office by the employees who are legally entrusted with the duty to secure measures to confront the pandemic comprehensively, drawing attention to what the speakers revealed about the shortcomings on official TV and official and civil media in the use of sign language and access to information for all PWDs.

Accordingly, we ask you to quickly fulfill all possible requirements for PWDs from their right to health, life, treatment, adaptation and active participation in the face of the pandemic by providing opportunities for safety, treatment and vaccination for them and their families, calling for a fair and transparent administrative investigation to find out the reasons behind their exclusion from enjoying their rights as citizens; in particular, health, life and physical safety, and taking legal and administrative measures to ensure accountability of negligent people and securing the health rights of other citizens, including PWDs, hoping to publish the measures you take to ensure that they reach all and that PWDs are aware of them.

 

With all due respect

Issued on: 17/08/2021                       

MUSAWA

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