inclusive resilience: empowering people living with disabilities in the fight against Covid-19

  • Patrick Lubasi Mbangweta Department of Public Health, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Lusaka
Keywords: Inclusive, empower, Covid-19, disability


Background The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to societies worldwide, with public health emergencies exacerbating the vulnerabilities of marginalized populations. Among these groups, persons with disabilities face unique and disproportionate hardships during such crises. The United Nations' Sustainable Development Agenda underscores the importance of inclusivity and ensuring the rights of all individuals, including those with disabilities, to lead lives of dignity and security. This paper aims to shed light on the plight of persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic by reviewing the impact of the virus on their rights and well-being. Methods This review draws on information from the United Nations Human Rights office of the high commissioner, as well as data and examples from various countries across the world. The paper explores specific topics related to COVID-19 and the rights of persons with disabilities. It delves into the challenges faced by individuals who heavily rely on support from others for their daily living, discussing the isolation and difficulties they endure during lockdown procedures. Results The review reveals that persons with disabilities encounter significant obstacles and heightened vulnerability during the COVID-19 crisis. Those reliant on assistance face severe challenges when support systems become inaccessible or disrupted due to lockdown measures. The isolation resulting from restricted mobility and limited support compromises their well-being and survival. Additionally, individuals residing in institutional settings suffer an increased risk of exposure to the virus, leading to alarming death tolls in such facilities. Conclusion The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the critical importance of prioritizing the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities during public health emergencies. The review highlights the disproportionate impact of the virus on this vulnerable group, with specific emphasis on those relying on support and those residing in institutions. As societies work to combat and recover from the pandemic, it is imperative to ensure inclusivity and equitable access to healthcare, support services, and essential information for persons with disabilities.