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Malawi: COVID-19 Booklets in Braille to Disseminate Information

August 20, 2020

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has noted that Covid-19 has brought along many challenges such as access to correct information on the pandemic and preventive measures.

UNDP Resident Representative in Malawi, Shigeki Komastubara said this Wednesday when UNDP handed over Braille Covid-19 materials to Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Socials Welfare in Lilongwe.

He observed that for persons with disabilities, faces a lot of challenges to access information were even exacerbated as most of the information available was presented in inaccessible format.

Komastubara said it was against this ground that UNDP supported the Department of Disability with the printing of Braille materials on Covid-19.

“The materials are based on the approved messages from the Ministry of Health and aim to assist persons who are visually impaired understand how they can prevent Covid-19 spreading,” UNDP Resident Representative explained.

He said 4,050 Braille booklets would be distributed through district disability structures and they would go a long way in providing the relevant information on Cobid-19 to the visually impaired.

Komastubara believes this would help to reach one of the vulnerable groups with relevant Covid-19 messages.

“We recognize that such support for persons with Disabilities need to be supported by concrete legal and policy frameworks,” he said.

UNDP Resident Representative said UNDP continues to support the work on the review of the Disability Act and National Policy on Disability to ensure that they comply with the Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities to which Malawi is a signatory.

He said UNDP in collaboration with other UN Agencies was supporting government implement the Spotlight Initiative on ending violence against women and girls.

Minister of gender community development and social welfare, Patricia Kaliati thanked UNDP for the support to help persons with disabilities,

She said the donation has come at the right time as it would help them to have rightful information to respond to Covid-19 challenges.

“We have requested UNDP to support in the training of sign language interpreters so that whatever programme we do they should also be taking part especially those with disabilities,” Kaliati added.

She said the Ministry has a number of programmes in which persons with disabilities are able to follow while others are not due to the absence of rightful information.

The Minister said the provision of the Covid-19 information through Braille would have a positive impact to the lives of the visually impaired persons within their communities.

Source: Mana Online