Despite being recognized as the second best in the country for providing rehabilitation services to people with disabilities, more than 42% of people with disabilities struggled to manage basic medical assistance during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to a study conducted in 14 states, including Madhya. Pradesh by Murthy GVS, Kamalakannan S, Lewis MG, Sadanand S and Tetali S.
Indore was the hotspot for Covid-19 cases in the first and second waves. This resulted in strict standards and protocols in the city due to which everyone struggled but people with disabilities suffered more.
They did not make it to their physiotherapy, dialysis or counseling sessions and also encountered additional difficulties in securing medical appointments.
According to government statistics, around 15.5 lakh (15 51 931) people have disabilities in Madhya Pradesh.
Fear brought panic: no medical appointments and basic care
The published study showed that 2 in five people with disabilities (42.5%) said the lockdown made it difficult for them to access routine medical care.
He further added that nearly a quarter reported difficulty getting their medication while 28% said they postponed their scheduled medical appointments due to the lockdown.
More than half of people with disabilities perceived that continued confinement would have a deleterious effect on their health. Additionally, the chances of a new variant spreading and another lockdown create panic among many.
Physiotherapy has become a major challenge
Of the 17% in need of rehabilitation services, 59.4% did not have access, according to the study.
In the response, most people needing rehabilitation services said it was physiotherapy that was compromised during the lockdown.
81.6% had mental health problems, lost their job
Above all, the mental side effects of difficult times have taken their toll on the health of people with disabilities. They were afraid of being infected with the coronavirus.
In addition, the loss of income affected people with disabilities the most. Most of them were asked to leave before the others, calling them a high risk to their health.
According to the study, around 81.6% said they had experienced moderate to high levels of stress.
This shows the urgent need to strengthen mental health support services for people with disabilities.
Indore is doing well with rehabilitation
In the national awards, Indore was awarded as the best district to provide rehabilitation services by the Department of Empowerment of People with Disabilities of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of the Indian government.
Indore has been able to provide basic public facilities and services to people with disabilities in the city. Ramps and other constructions are present in public spaces to make them more user-friendly for people with reduced mobility. However, the struggle of people with disabilities is still there in Indore and across the country.
Posted on: Thursday December 02, 2021 20:49 IST