Include Indigenous People in COVID-19 Response

Credit: Nidwan.By Pratima GurungKATHMANDU, Jul 28 2020 (IPS) In Nepal the COVID-19 crisis has been especially hard on indigenous peoples. We had to learn a new vocabulary and use words like quarantine, self-isolation, hand sanitizers and social distancing. We also had to respect rules that did not previously apply to our lives. Indigenous peoples are not used to washing their hands all the time because our culture is so much closer to Mother Earth and because much of the time we don’t have running water. The situation has been even more difficult for indigenous persons with a disability, like me. I cannot keep my social distance if I need help at the same time. I can manage on my own but as I only have one hand I have not been able to follow the health recommendations to the letter, which causes me a lot of anxiety. The pandemic has made me feel more “disabled” than ever. Pratima Gurung, General Secretary, IPWDGN President, NIDWAN. This is the situation that indigenous people with disabilities face everyday. Most of them don’t have access to vital medical supplies – for instance, people with spinal cord injuries who need catheters or those with hemophilia in need of plasma. Indigenous women with disabilities have faced discrimination, violence and abuse. There have also been rising levels of suicide during this pandemic. Indigenous people make up around one third of the country’s total population, approximately 11 million out of the 30 mil...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Asia-Pacific Headlines Health Human Rights Indigenous Rights Source Type: news

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