“The State of People Living with Disabilities Should Be a Concern for All”-Minister of Social Affairs Strikes Attention

The call was made by Pauline Irène Nguene, Cameroon’s Minister of Social affairs during the 30th edition of the international day of people living with disabilities.

“As we celebrate the 30th edition for the international day of people living with disabilities, we are calling on all the actors to deploy their efforts in order to remove all the barriers, to permit to people living with disabilities to fully live and enjoy their rights.  And by the way, to contribute in the construction of our country. We all know that, they have talents, they have competencies to put at the disposal of our country. We had such abundant activities during the past weeks, we showed how the government is really deploying all efforts for persons with disabilities. We had for instance, two draft bills that we presented to the parliament recently and during the whole week, we had activities related to the respect of rights of people living with disabilities. Today, it is a victory because we had an important ceremony. All these is just to show that the government is really willing for people living with disabilities to move forward, to be a full actor of development in our country, their state should be a concern for all…” Social affairs’ Minister, Pauline Irène Nguene said.

She was speaking to media practitioners on Friday 3rd of December 2021 in Yaounde, Cameroon on the occasion of the international day of people living with disabilities.

This year’s celebrations placed under the theme: “ »leadership and participation of persons with disabilities within the context of covid-19 for an inclusive, accessible and sustainable world »   were an open call to highlight issues of inequalities, discrimination and marginalization to which are subjected these vulnerable group of people in the society.

According to social affairs’ Minister, it is time more than ever to push forward advocacy calls for the well-being of disabled. Pauline Irène Nguene while chairing the ceremony that took place at Yaounde town hall esplanade has reiterated the need to create viable opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Spokesperson of people living with disabilities, by the way president of students’ associations in Cameroon has praised the numerous efforts undertaken by the government to accommodate them. Evina Bella Angeline said in her speech that, there is an increase in the number of students with disabilities in state universities. Added to the exoneration set up by government since two years now.

Evina Bella Angeline equally seized the occasion of this celebration to call on other public administration and private enterprises to take into account the disabled in their various recruitment processes.

“All the ministries do not implicate us in their activities. When we talk of disability in Cameroon, all is directed to the ministry of social affairs whereas it is not the ministry of social affairs that makes roads, it is not the ministry of social affairs that constructs edifices. There is need for the implication of all ministries in order to enhance the situation of people living with disabilities. That is why, we militate for the creation of a special faculty that will gather disabled persons…” She narrated.

The representative of the country Director of World Health Organization (WHO) at this commemoration read the message of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guteres. The message states relevant issues concerning PLWD, as key actors in achieving the SDGs.

“We need everyone, including persons with disabilities, on board to achieve the Sustainable
Development Goals. Around the world, persons with disabilities and their representative
organizations are taking action to realize the call: ‘Nothing about us, without us’.

The ceremony chaired in a festive mood, later on paved the way to the donation of packages granted by the World Health Organization’s office in Cameroon.

Elise Kenimbeni

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