THE Zanzibar government has been working hard to improve the enabling environment that does not exclude People with Disabilities (PwDs) in all sectors such as access to public transport, education and health because it is among their rights.
President Hussein Mwinyi said this on Monday at the State House, Zanzibar where he had a meeting with delegates from the Christian Blind Mission (CBM).
The mission paid visit to the president where they discussed various issues including how the organisation could be engaged to help the blind children in schools.
CBM is an international Christian development organisation, committed to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities in developing communities of the world.
Dr Mwinyi expressed commitment to strengthening cooperation between the mission and the government through the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders, so that the people with impaired vision in Zanzibar enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potentials.
“Plans are underway to introduce universal health insurance to cover all the people including those with disabilities, who are among the priority groups in Zanzibar,” he said.
President Mwinyi added that laws and policy have been improved to ensure that public buildings and other areas are friendly to PwDs.
He said that the government with support from development partners has been improving the health and learning environment for PwDs with focus on children.
“We are happy to see that more stakeholders are paying attention to the needy group,” Dr Mwinyi said.
The president further told the delegation that most people with disabilities need better housing and asked CBM and other development partners to consider the possibility of support improving housing for vulnerable group as the government is committed to improve other areas.
CBM Resident Director, Tanzania Nesia Satoki Mahenge told President Mwinyi that their organization has been working with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar through the Ministry of Health at the Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital.
“CBM is working with Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital to implement a project to manage and provide medical services for persons with disabilities and has provided 1bn/- to help provide eye health services,” she said adding that.
The fund is meant to enable the disabled to access medical services, provide equipment, improving hospital infrastructure so that it is friendly to the PwDs. It also covered outreach programmes that include identification of children with impaired vision for them to start treatment.
The CBM’s Director for Community Based Inclusive Development, Dominique Schlupkothen, informed Dr Mwinyi that their organisation is committed to continue working with Zanzibar government in collaboration with private sector and other development stakeholders to improve eye health services.
Previously before meeting the president, CBM team visited Kisiwandui Inclusive Primary School in Zanzibar to meet the visually impaired children and later held talks with the Health Minister Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, thanked CBM for extending support the PwDs in Zanzibar.
CBM is a non-governmental organisation working in the areas of support for persons with disabilities, with focus on eye, in 44 countries around the world, so that it is an inclusive world in which all persons with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.