#National News

Plight of disabilities, mentally imbalanced: Gambia's forgotten category amid Covid-19

Feb 12, 2021, 10:56 AM | Article By: Sheriff Saidykhan

Amid the outbreak of the Novel coronavirus in the country, many people are compelled to stay at home for their safety, but the vulnerable physically challenged and mentally imbalanced persons are left in marginalised situations in the street corners.

This reporter was out and about to look into the plight of persons with disabilities at Kaddy's Foundation for Differently Able in Brikama, West Coast Region.

The rights activist and founder of Kaddy's Foundation for Differently Abled, Kaddy Jadama, said many persons living with disabilities are reeling with mental disorders and totally left abandoned without proper care by their families, and even the society.

She indicated that the disability issue is one of the main problems facing the country.

“Society needs to view disability issue with realistic lenses, and increase its tentacles in order to tackle the marginalisation trend of persons living with disability. Many disable people are living under vulnerable conditions in the streets without decent living. We help the mentally imbalanced who are abandoned by their families or the ones without family. We also pick them in the streets and take them to Tanka Tanka because every human needs a home and a right to life and good living." she posited.

Jadama recounted her encounter with a homeless, mentally imbalanced disabled person eating rotten food in the street, describing that deplorable condition as intolerable.

This, among other issues forced her to render humanitarian support. "I was coming from the village, and I saw the man eating from the dustbin. Every day, he slept in the Brikama car park. I was able to get him to the mentally imbalanced hysterical hospital where he is currently living now." she said.

The welfare of disabled homeless persons, she said, has for the past decades, been ignored and abandoned by the society and the authorities.

She thus argued that the question on plight of persons with disability and mentally challenged persons still remains unanswered.

“I observed that, person living with disabilities contribute significantly to the socio-economic drive of the country. I therefore challenged the government and relevant stakeholders to corporate their responsibility, imbued with collective action from society geared towards addressing the plight of mentally imbalanced, and persons living with disability in the country. Mental health deserves attention from the government, and society to collectively make it a priority." she said.

The government through the National Assembly, she said, should approve the disability bill into Act, to ensure the prevalence of their safety conditions.

"The government has a bigger role to play to alleviate the lives of people living with disability. The government should concentrate on the Differently Abled bill and approve it. The government should make health a right and not a privilege. Because every human being deserves a decent living" she concluded.

Read Other Articles In National News
Covid-19: OCMD donates food items to urban communities
May 18, 2020, 1:44 PM

The Organisation of Catholic Men for Development (OCMD) has donated 46 bags of 25kg rice, 24 gallons of 5 litters cooking oil and 24 bags of onion to some communities in the West Coast Region and Kanifing Municipality aimed at mitigating the hardship of COVID-19.

Muhammed Sanneh v2
Italian family fosters Gambian migrant: 'The son we never had'
Sep 28, 2020, 12:14 PM

Muhammed Sanneh was an orphan when he left The Gambia aged 16 to try and find a way to support his two younger siblings.

Tabital Pulaagu
Tabital Pulaagu calls for unity
Feb 17, 2021, 1:11 PM

Mamadou Kandeh, president of ‘Tabital Pulaagu’, a breakaway faction of The Gambia chapter of Tabital Pulaagu, an international pro-Fulani organization has called on members of the association to always embrace unity.

Action Aid v2
Action Aid renews Amplify Change Project
Dec 30, 2020, 2:05 PM

Amplify Change through ActionAid International-The Gambia recently renewed and launched its 3rd project meant to support Gender Based Violence especially against Women and Girls.