Today, Friday October 24 2008 is World Polio Day and the theme for this year is: "Inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Millennium Development Goals."
Here in Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Union of Polio Persons (SLUPP) will observe this day in a different style and with a new vision for the first time in the country’s history.
Speaking during a press briefing on Thursday 23rd October 2008 at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affair, SLUPP President, Mr. Kabbah Franklyn Bangura says the day is normally celebrated to reflect minds on the polio epidemic and its accompanying destructions on mankind.
"Sierra Leone has a population five million people and about 10% of that population are persons affected with poliomyelitis," he said while adding that this figure can be higher in countries devastated by civil war or other natural disasters.
He says Sierra Leone is one of such countries which saw a major increment in the number of persons with disabilities.
"In recognizing the value of human rights and democracy, we are exploring greater consideration on the plight of these people especially in the area of education, employment and housing," he noted, adding that persons with disabilities continue to languish without jobs, live in dilapidated and non-habitual buildings, thus exposing them to death and other diseases.
He uses this day’s commemoration to call on the government and other development agencies to mainstream disabilities in all sector programmes.
The day will be celebrated at the Victoria Park in Freetown.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.