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22.09.2005 Regional News

Assembly earmarks 70 million cedis to support physically challenged

By GNA

Nkawkaw, Sept. 22, GNA - The Kwahu West District Assembly has earmarked 70 million cedis from its share of the District Assemblies' Common Fund to support income generating activities of physically challenged persons in the District.

The Assembly has also awarded scholarships to six physically challenged students from the District pursuing secondary school education.

The District Chief Executive, Nana Kofi Kesse, announced this when a United Kingdom-based charitable organization, Wheel for the World, in collaboration with three Tema-based NGOs - Light Outreach Foundation and the Needy Elevation Crusades, presented 70 wheel chairs, clutches and walking frames worth over 150 million cedis to a number of physically challenged persons in the Kwahu West, Kwahu South and Atiwa districts at Nkawkaw.

He said the government was putting the necessary measures in place for the passing of the disability law to address issues concerning the welfare of the physically challenged persons and to eliminate discrimination against them.

The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Miss Susana Mensah, who received the donation on behalf of the beneficiaries, said the government welcomed NGOs and other donors who would assist the physically challenged persons to contribute in the productive sectors of the economy to enhance the country's development. She said the government would create a congenial and democratic environment for all to contribute their quota towards the rapid utilization of human and material resources to improve the standard of living of all citizens.

Ms Mensah noted that the government had persistently provided educational facilities to physically challenged persons to enable them to reach the greatest heights.

The Deputy Minister urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of their vulnerable position and register without paying premiums under the National Health Insurance Scheme for free medical care. She advised them to ensure discipline in their sexual lives by being faithful to their husbands and wives and also abstain from pre-marital sex to avoid contracting the HIV/AIDS disease. The leader of the Wheel for the World, Ms Shirley Raymond, said the donation was the organisation's contribution to support physically challenged persons in the third world to enhance their mobility and contribute towards the development of society.

She said an eight-member medical team of the organization made up of nurses, physiotherapists and other medical personnel examined the beneficiaries before presenting the wheel chairs to them. The leader of the Light Outreach Foundation, Mrs Ellen Annan, said they reached out to homeless street children and the physically challenged with physical and spiritual support through their outreach programmes.

She said similar assistance had been provided for physically challenged persons at Ada, Akuapem Mampong and Tema. 22 Sept. 05

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