DIWA to carry out a baselines survey on Access to SRH services for women and girls with disabilities
DIWA with funding support from ABILIS Foundation will embark on a survey on access to SRH services for girls and women with disabilities in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The survey will be carried out in four locations in Bulawayo.
Currently, there are no written and correct statistical data on this fundaments human right in Africa, generally. The situation is a perpetuation of the myth that women and girls with disabilities are asexual, bad luck and that of being a cure of HIV / AIDS. For instance in Buhera, is it said that having a disability is associated with bad luck, and as such, the community would distance themselves from person with a disability or from a family where there is a person with a disability (Mandipa and Katsande, 2013).
Besides myths, there are some challenges which hinder girls and women to access include lack of access to information, lack of birth certificates or identity cards, inaccessible in – built environment, just to mention a few. DHAT (2013) report cited that a group of women and girls with disabilities went to one hospital in Bulawayo for a cervical cancer screening. Some could not be assisted due to lack of information in accessible formats, others could not due to inaccessible screening beds, and others failed to go to the examination room.
The assumption is that a lot of women and girls with disabilities could be failing to access such services, thereby contributing to their vulnerability against any health related issues, like HIV / AIDS, Cervical cancer, just to mention a few.
Therefore, up to date and relevant statistics will inform and shape government policies and development planners so as to be inclusive of persons with disabilities. In addition, such data will also help other stakeholders to plan and implement programmes with disability in mind, and therefore deliberately, target women and girls with disabilities.
Thus, the survey is specifically focusing on access to SRH which are an alienable right for all people especially in the background of the now expired MDGs which have been replaced by the SDGs.