Thursday, April 18, 2024

Autism Association of Zambia wants Government to create a conducive environment for Autistic Children

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Minister of Community Development and Social Services Doreen Mwamba says government recognises the challenges that people with autism experience including parents of children with autism.

The Minister said the government is further aware that persons with disabilities are mostly excluded from several opportunities and services in education, health employment and access to information and transport which potentially exacerbates their vulnerability and poverty thereby increasing exclusion.

The Minister noted that the government has since among others continued supporting learners with disabilities through the public welfare assistance scheme and has increased tax rebates for persons with disabilities informal employment.

She added that the government has also increased targets and amounts for social cash transfers for persons with disabilities.

The Minister said this in a speech read for her by the Chief Social Welfare Officer, at the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, Morris Moono, at the commemoration of the World Autism Awareness Day in Lusaka today.

Ms. Mwamba also indicated that the government has made several robust strides in the disability mainstreaming agenda to uplift the well-being of persons with disabilities.

“The Government of the Republic of Zambia, having ratified the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in 2010, has ensured that persons with disabilities are a priority for the government through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services,” she said.

She said her Ministry has put in place several interventions and programmes to provide services and amenities that contribute towards uplifting the welfare and dignity of persons with disabilities thereby reducing poverty and improving their quality of life.

“Some of the measures that have been put in place in order for the government to fulfil its obligations towards the persons living with disabilities is the establishment by an Act of parliament for persons with disabilities Act No. 6 of 2012 who’s the main function among others is to plan, coordinate, promote and administer services to persons with disabilities including people with autism,” she said.

And National Autism Association of Zambia (NAAZ) Chairperson, Angela Gondwe, said it is the Association’s desire to see that Zambia creates a conducive environment that will bring out a champ in an autistic child.

“You may wish to know that autistic children have big brains and we need to recognise talent in these children,” she said.

Ms Gondwe further emphasised the need for government to put up health centres that will help in early diagnosis so that there is early intervention.

She stated that early intervention will help bring out a champ in an aquatic child and not bring out an abuser, rapist or serial killer.

Meanwhile, Disability Inclusion Association of Zambia President Mike Chavuma called for the review of the disabilities Act to ensure that all types of disabilities are well known and catered for.

4 COMMENTS

  1. The government wants to create a conducive environment. Sure. But the same government hasn’t got the faintest idea on how to do that. People with autism are usually being dropped in the “crazy” box and simply left there to die.

  2. This Minister of Community Development and Social Services Doreen Mwamba couldnt even turn up to read her speech to them they think throwing social cash to people of disabilities is job done …its more than that its about increasing funding for teacher training and carers. accessibility in buildngs, in transport.

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