Blantyre, President Arthur Peter Mutharika has promised to revamp the growth of the Malawi Against Disability (MAD) commonly known as Malawi Association of Polio (MAP) which is currently not active as it is facing some financial hiccups.
Mutharika said this Tuesday during an audience which he had with MAP officials at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.
In his speech, Mutharika highlighted that it pains him to see persons with disabilities suffering because he has had a similar scenario in his family where he had a disabled sister who received a lot of torture from the community including at school due to her status.
“As long as I am the President of this country, I will not sit and tolerate persons with disabilities suffer in any way. Let me put it clear here that my government will deal with anyone who in one way or the other violates the rights of persons with disabilities in this country,” Mutharika explained.
In her remarks, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Dr Jean Kalilani expressed her gratitude that finally the President and MAP officials have had time to meet and discuss issues pertaining to the growth of MAP which is now MAD.
“Before the incident of cash-gate government used to fund MAP staff salaries but now after the cash-gate issue, the donors who were supporting government to afford that pulled out of the game. This has seen MAP outreach programs to rural areas flopping to zero hence demoralising the whole MAP mission and vision,” Kalilani said.
On his part, MAP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sydney Ndembe expressed his gratitude to the president for giving them a platform to express their current needs to him.
“We came to appeal to the president to help us revise the status of MAP which is currently moving to MAD. We do not have resources like transport and money, to undertake our programs anymore.
“We no longer reach out to rural disabled persons with equipment like wheel chairs as was the case in the past, all because of financial hiccups. We do not have money to pay our staff as well,” bemoaned Ndembe.
He said as of now, they only have one rehabilitation centre which is Kachere Rehabilitation Centre though in their plans they wanted the country to have more of such centres to help in raising the lives of poor persons with disabilities in the country.
MAP was established in 1979 after the country registered an accelerating number of polio cases. It was established to help curb the disease which now through government and donors support is under strict observation and cases are not commonly found amongst people in the country.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA