NIGERIA : For specific information on HIV/AIDS appropriate to people with disabilities21 November 2006
Lagos: More appropriate approaches must be developed to inform the physically challenged including the blind and the deaf about HIV infection. This is the opinion of some Aids activists in Nigeria. “People with disabilities are highly sexually active just like all the members of the communities. And they are even more vulnerable than others because of their peculiar situation,” declared Mr Oba Odalapo.
Mr Oba Odalapo is the officer in charge of Positive Life Association in Nigeria or Plan. The NGO carried out a survey on attitudes, practices and behaviours regarding HIV/AIDS. The findings presented in August 2006 at the Aids conference in Toronto Canada, revealed that many people with disabilities aren’t informed about HIV infection. “They don’t have information on prevention of HIV infection because of the fact that many of them don’t have access to information in Braille for the blind, we don’t have insights in sign language been inserted in documentaries for people who are deaf,” he said. “We don’t have situations where people withy disabilities are provided with specific information that would be appropriate for them on HIV and Aids,” he added.
Mr David Anyaele is the Chief executive of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities. He was a civilian and businessman in Sierra Leone but he lost his limbs in 1999 when Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels tried to capture Freetown. For him, voluntary counselling and testing centres aren’t disabled-friendly. “We’re talking about accessible VCT centres where blind people can have access to information and sign language interpreter can interpret and counsel a deaf person,” he explained. “And the places should be accessible to persons with wheel-chair and clutches. We’re talking about disabled friendly voluntary counselling and testing centres,” he added.