Africa

This page features the news on disability from Africa in the Debrief Library. See also news from other countries.

Contents

Accessibility and Design

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Assistive Technology Innovate Now launch of its 5th Cohort on Digital AT and Entrepreneurship (April, AT Innovate Now)

Assistive Technology

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Emerging African Ecosystems for assistive technology: “companies must not only be an expert in AT (not an easy feat), but also need to master financing, hiring, logistics and distribution, warehousing, both physical and digital advertising, customer services”. (Aug, AT2030)

COVID-19

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Response

Challenges and Opportunities for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in the COVID-19 Response “A limited number of recommended MHPSS activities during the COVID-19 pandemic were planned in countries across Africa, with an even smaller proportion being actually implemented. The implementation level of MHPSS activities was below 50% in most countries. [...] It is critical to build on this to integrate mental health into emergency preparedness and response and strengthen mental health systems in the long term in the post-pandemic world.” (Jul, Environmental Research and Public Health)

Conflict and Peace

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Ensuring the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Communities Experiencing Armed Conflict (Sep, Women Enabled International)

Economics and Social Protection

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Estimating Households’ Expenditures on Disability in Africa: The Uses and Limitations of the Standard of Living Method. “In lower-income countries, people with disabilities are likely to have fewer opportunities to spend on needed items thus resulting in substantial unmet need for disability-related goods and services. Failing to account for these unmet needs can lead to inadequate systems of social protection if they are based solely on SOL estimates.” (Dec, IJERPH)

Education and Childhood

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Manifesto on Inclusive Education made by representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities. (Nov, African Disability Forum)

A needs assessment of School Violence and Bullying of Children with Disabilities in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region. I hadn't heard of this before, in Zambia, one informant reported:

“There are traditional beliefs, that having sexual relations with a person who is disabled helps you to become cured from a particular disease such as HIV and AIDS. That persons with disabilities can be used as avenues for cleansing and that takes a step further from bullying into sexual violence, sexual abuse, and so on." (link to docx, Leonard Cheshire)

Health

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Taking steps towards disability inclusive (sexual and reproductive) health: exploring lessons from programming in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Rwanda. One disability focal point in a health centre in Ethiopia said:

“Once we received a deaf woman who came to the center for help. We understood that she was raped and was pregnant, and as showed the test she was HIV positive. Yet, none of us could explain it to her and inform her on necessary treatment. So she left and never came again. We all remember this lady, so we are committed to learn sign language to be able to address such cases next time.” (link to pdf, Feb, See You Foundation)

Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

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Workshop on Including Displaced Persons with Disabilities Workshop for African OPDs (Jan, IDA)

International Cooperation

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Overview

How a project seeks to solve the north-south power imbalance in leprosy and development work. (Apr, The Leprosy News)

Global Disability Summit

Sport and Paralympics

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The development of a policy brief on physical activity and health in Africa for children and adolescents with disabilities: COVID-19 and beyond. (Dec, African Journal on Disability)

Violence and Harassment

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Uncovering our Hidden Shame: Addressing Witchcraft Accusations and Ritual Attacks. Reports of ritual attacks against children with disabilities in eleven countries, and on children with albinism in five. Some reports from Benin suggest that midwives may kill new-born children with disabilities without informing the mothers.

“Children with disabilities and children with albinism in particular may be accused of witchcraft based on the circumstances of their birth or their congenital deformities, or the way they look or talk. Ritual attacks against children with albinism are also driven by myths, and the false belief that their body parts can be sold for money. ” (Jun, African Child Policy Forum) See also coverage on the Guardian.

Intersections between disability, masculinities, and violence: experiences and insights from men with physical disabilities from Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa. The article shares many fascinating quotes, and concludes, comparing with the situation of women with disabilities:

“men with disabilities report threats, verbal and physical abuse by people outside their household and emotional abuse within their households and not the same level of sexual and intimate partner violence as women with disabilities have reported in similar studies”. (Apr, BMC Public Health)