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GeneralHealthLiberia news

WHO seeks inclusion of disabled community in health agenda

Through its Country Representative, the WHO says access to health is the right of persons living with disabilities, and Liberia’s Constitution and international treaties protect this right.

By Lincoln G. Peters 

Monrovia, April 3, 2024: The World Health Organization (WHO) has committed to working with the Liberian government and Liberia’s Second Lady to ensure that the voices of persons living with disabilities are heard in the country’s health agenda.

WHO Representative Dr. Clement Peter addressed dozens of persons living with disabilities on Tuesday, 2 April 2024, during the official mobility equipment donation program by WHO at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.

During the program, Dr. Peter said access to health is the right of persons with disabilities, and the government protects this right as enshrined in the 1986 Liberian Constitution and international treaties. 

“We are excited that you are here today. However, we don’t want to see you only today. We want the relationship to continue,” said Dr. Peter. 

“We want to work together to ensure that the voices of those disabled are heard in this country’s health agenda,” he assured. 

On Tuesday, the WHO, in collaboration with the Liberian government through the Office of the Second Lady of the Republic of Liberia, Madam Synleseh Stephenie Dahn Koung, donated mobility equipment to the disabled community.

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The donation was mainly made at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center and the Monrovia Rehabilitation Center. 

The kind gesture included sixteen wheelchairs and twenty cansticks. The indoor program was graced by the dozens of members of the disabled community, faculty, and staff of the JFK, among others. 

The donation is in connection with the many events being celebrated as part of the preparation for World Health Day, which is expected to be celebrated under the theme: ” My health, my right,” championing the right of good health for everyone, everywhere. 

For her, Ms. Joyce C. Kenkpen, who proxy on behalf of the Second Lady, Madam Synleseh Stephenie Dahn Koung, expressed excitement and appreciation to WHO and its partners for the donation. 

According to her, the Second Lady, as Executive Director of the Group of 72nd, was extremely grateful to the WHO for supporting her and the government’s efforts. 

“We are grateful to WHO and its partners for today’s kind gesture and this symbolic donation. The first lady’s office remains committed to advocating and finding solutions, whether it means influencing policy decisions that will change the trajectory of how people with disabilities are treated…”

In separate remarks, Ms. Hannah Watson, the Officer in Charge (OIC) at the National Commission on Disability, and Madam Dama R. Yekeson-Koffa, the General Administrator of the JFK, expressed excitement about the recognition and donations and requested more.

“We acknowledge the challenges that our people face. We want to thank WHO and its partners for seeing the need to identify with us. We want more to come because there are many challenges facing persons living with disabilities, especially access to healthcare, education, and welfare,” they noted.

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