BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH) of Brac University held a webinar named "Covid-19 Pandemic: A Difficult Time for Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh" to discuss the current situation, struggles and needs of persons with disabilities during in the times of pandemic.
Researchers from JPGSPH shared preliminary findings of an ongoing rapid exploratory qualitative study, conducted among persons with disabilities from 5 different geographical locations of Bangladesh to understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their physical and mental health, livelihoods and food security of the households, says a press release sent by JPGSPH.
Dr Tanvir Hasan, Associate Professor, JPGSPH, BRAC University opened the discussion saying, "Our current study briefly and stressed that it is important to generate contextual evidence to inform local policies and action plans to mitigate the negative effects of Covid-19 on the lives of persons with disabilities."
"Many persons with disabilities are finding it difficult to maintain social distancing while others are struggling to buy safety materials. The major concerns however still remain related to their livelihood challenges because most of them are involved in informal job and have history of persistent income insecurity and poverty," said Fatema Akter Bonny, research associate, JPGSPH, BRAC University.
Nazma Ara Begum Poppy, project officer, Handicap International-Humanity & Inclusion (HI) emphasized the fact of receiving adequate support to develop both technical and soft skills to cope with this crisis period.
Dr Rajib Hasan, Disability & Rehabilitation Specialist and Deputy Director (Planning), National Disability Dev. Foundation said, "Government has taken combined initiatives by collaborating with different ministries to look after the persons with disabilities. The current budget has allocated around 16.1 crore taka from Ministry of Social Welfare to disburse money for their basic needs."
"District Commissioners along with other government officials and staffs from 103 IDSCs are working to disseminate the proper guidelines and service provisions to persons with disabilities." He added.
K M Amran Hossain, Lecturer and Researcher, Bangladesh Health Professions Institute (BHPI), Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) was also present in the webinar.