The Importance of Information on COVID-19 and Vaccines for Persons with Disabilities

  • The Importance of Information on COVID-19 and Vaccines for Persons with Disabilities
  • WhatsApp Image 2021-02-25 at 20.21.52
  • WhatsApp Image 2021-02-25 at 20.21.53 (1)
  • WhatsApp Image 2021-02-25 at 20.21.53
JAKARTA (24 February 2021) - Persons with disabilities are one of the groups that are vulnerable to being infected with COVID-19 because of their limitations. Health protocol policies in the context of preventing and controlling COVID-19 for the community cannot be implemented for Persons with Disabilities.

The Director of Social Rehabilitation for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Eva Rahmi Kasim as a resource person in the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with the theme "COVID-19 and Vaccines: Inclusivity with Disabilities". This is the collaboration of the Denpasar 12 Discussion Forum with Media Indonesia which is held virtually.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have received information and facts that many persons with disabilities were exposed. Their treatment in implementing health protocols, namely maintaining distance, washing hands, and wearing masks, is, of course, different," said Eva.

"For example, for persons with hearing disabilities who use sign language, of course, the use of masks is not the same. Likewise, how to wash hands for persons with disabilities who use wheelchairs.

Persons with disabilities need special care and assistance", she added.

The Ministry of Social Affairs during the prevention period against COVID-19 has carried out dissemination and education for both Persons with Disabilities, Assistants for Persons with Disabilities and the Center for Disabilities as UPT of the Ministry of Social Affairs and managers of community-owned Social Welfare Institutions (LKS).

Eva said that the Ministry of Social Affairs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has issued Protection Guidelines Health and Psychosocial Support for Persons with Disabilities and Guidelines for the Work of Facilitators and Social Workers for Persons with Disabilities in Prevention of COVID-19.

"For Persons with Disabilities who are impacted socio-economically, the Ministry of Social Affairs has distributed social assistance in the form of basic food packages. The data collection system for social assistance recipients are sourced from Social Welfare Integrated Data (DTKS)," said Eva.

The Ministry of Social Affairs also seeks to make adjustments to the Adaptation of New Habits through the Social Rehabilitation Assistance (ATENSI) platform which is family, community and residential based. The adaptation of new habits in 19 (nineteen) Centers for Disability of the Ministry of Social Affairs is also in line with the development of a digitization program to accommodate the skills and the creativity of Persons with Disabilities through the marketplace on the website:

"Regarding the provision of vaccines for Persons with Disabilities, there is a need for efforts to strengthen information about vaccines and health as well as the mechanism for implementing vaccines," said Eva. This effort can be maximized by involving facilitators, LKS managers, and social volunteers.

The Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly, Rerie L. Moerdijat reminded all members of the community, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, pay attention to the principle of leaving no behind for Persons with Disabilities. "Don't let them fend for themselves. The state is obliged to ensure that citizens are safe in their current conditions, including Persons with Disabilities", said Rerie.

"The impact of COVID-19 targets all community groups including Persons with Disabilities as vulnerable groups in society," said Wiku Adisasmito as Chair of the COVID-19 Task Force Expert Team.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in Persons with Disabilities facing obstacles in accessing essential care and information to reduce their risk. Therefore, it is necessary to develop communication messages that can be accessed by Persons with various disabilities including physical, mental, sensory, and intellectual disabilities.

An accessible website and a fact sheet to ensure that Persons with Disabilities can read COVID-19 information. Press conferences and COVID-19 news using sign language interpreters and any form of communication that does not rely solely on written information should be designed and used.

Community-based organizations and community leaders can become partners in communicating and providing mental health and psychosocial support for Persons with Disabilities. Besides, Persons with Disabilities must also be involved in all stages of overcoming the COVID-19 outbreak.

Writer :
Humas Dit. Penyandang Disabilitas
Editor :
Intan Qonita N
Translator :
Karlina Irsalyana

Share :