TCIG OBSERVES INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
The Special Needs Unit within the Ministry of Health, Sports, Agriculture & Human Services joins the rest of the world on Thursday, December 3, 2020 in observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities under the theme: “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 World”. The annual observance was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. This day is annually observed to promote full and equal participation of persons with disabilities and take action for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and development.
During the month of December, various community outreach initiatives will take place including the launch of the “We Care Program” focusing on the elderly with disabilities. This programme will provide care packages (inclusive of commercial diapers, gloves and inco pads, thermometers, etc.) for those qualifying and will commence on North/Middle Caicos. Additionally, various persons in the communities will receive adaptive equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, canes etc.).
The Special Needs Unit will also strengthen corporate responsibility with entities such as Kischo, who have donated various food items which will be utilized in South Caicos for food hampers for those in need. Also, stress balls and stretch bands will be provided for persons with disabilities to assist with exercise at home during the pandemic. Children have not been left out as some 25 children with special needs will receive various educational and life skills materials. e.g. communication boards, dress myself and other fun activities. In keeping with our vision of inclusion, supplies will also be donated to Ashely Learning Center, for the opening of face-to-face school in January, 2021 inclusive of thermometers, signs and masks etc.
As we celebrate this festive time, the Special Needs Unit is pleased to announce the 10th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at The Sylvia Mehaldo Aged Care and Special Needs Center in Grand Turk, on December 10, 2020 at 4:30 pm. Attendees will be asked to remain in their vehicles in order to comply with Covid-19 safety requirements. From a distance, clients and staff will entertain with the singing of carols and the reading of the Christmas Story, as we celebrate the Year of the Nurse and thank our front line workers.
The World Health Organization recognizes that a world where all people attain the highest possible standard of health and well-being is only possible if health systems are inclusive of people with disabilities. Countries need to shift towards a service delivery system rooted in the communities, reaching out and empowering people with disabilities.
The World Health Organization states that people with disabilities have been amongst the most vulnerable populations during the current COVID-19 outbreak due to many health, social and environmental barriers, discriminatory attitudes and inaccessible infrastructure. Let us help protect our vulnerable population including persons with special needs and the elderly by wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing.
Persons are encouraged to contact the Special Needs Office at 338-2171 in Grand Turk or 941-3187 on Providenciales for inquiries or for the registration of persons with the Special Needs Unit.