MALAWI: MACOHA, The Voice Of The Handcapped.

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By: Eutycus Yamikani.

Malawi council for the handcapped (MACOHA) has called upon duty bearers to have the responsibility to make sure that the rights of the disabled are not violated in the work places.

Monitoring and evaluation officer for Macoha and Tili Tose programme Alexina Kayira said that institutional heads must first make sure that the disabled are inclusively incorporated in many developmental activities in the work place:

“Statistics indicate that 15% of the world disabled persons, 80% of that number are in developing nations including Malawi.

So it is important for departments head to incorporate the disabled in their activities, for example agriculture and health.”

Macoha says helping the disabled should not be charity, but their right. At the meantime, Macoha together with Tili tose programme are sensitizing ‘persons with disability can claim their rights so that they should not be subjects of charity.’

On the status of albinos, Macoha says it is important for duty bearers to gain a wider knowledge on albinos so that they can protect them better in the workplaces.

“Albinos are not handicapped, but disabled and Macoha is teaching office bearers on disability streaming, because for one to be disabled there are factors that influence such name calling.

“External consequences can make a person said to be disabled when they fulfill these three elements: impairment, activity limitation and participation restriction.”

Despite Malawi’s signing of the different conventions on persons with disability, there are a lot of ambiguity in terms of penalties given to offenders for instance of albinos.

Meanwhile, Macoha says it is making its own reforms when it comes to derogatory terminology change through a bill that is under way to rename the body from Macoha to macoda (Malawi council for disability affairs) in parliament.

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