Implementing disability programs a challenge

Implementing disability programs at the provincial level is a challenge for many district officers.

Department of Community Development assistant secretary policy and planning, Jacob Manase, said the major hindrance is funding and also the lack of development services like health and education. 

Manase said implementing disability program at the provincial level is also quite a new thing and officers from the districts have emphasised that as well.

However, it is vital to start implementing the PNG National Policy on Disability at the district level, stated Manase.

Districts must include people living with disability (PLWD) in their programs using the community base rehabilitation strategy services like health, education, sports, livelihood and empowerment.

Though these programs are being run at the provincial level, not many of them have the disability component.

“It’s a development issue right now and no longer a welfare issue and it’s a challenge for district officers who try to incorporate it into their community programs,” explained Manase.

“We have always addressed this as a welfare issue and health issue but we should all embrace it as a development issue.”

Manase highlighted that the current disability policy is calling out emphasis on development.

“If a community has more numbers of PLWD, the productivity of that community might not be as effective.”

Manase stressed that children with disabilities must have access to education and health services and sports for disabilities should be promoted in communities.

All sectors have to come together and work to address these challenges.

Quintina Naime