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Lack of inclusive WASH facilities deprives children educational rights – Dr. Elijah Bisung

Dr. Elijah Bisung, Assistant Professor at the Queen’s University, Canada

Dr. Elijah Bisung, Assistant Professor at the Queen’s University, Canada, has said that the lack of inclusive Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in schools deprives children with physical disabilities of their right to basic education and training.

He said the situation also denies those children the opportunity to develop their inherent capabilities and potentials to the fullest to contribute to national development.

Dr. Bisung said this in Wa at a stakeholders’ engagement to disseminate research findings on the availability and accessibility of WASH facilities in schools by children with physical disabilities in the Upper West Region.

He said the development of any nation is strongly anchored on her human resource power, arguing that the non-inclusive nature of WASH facilities in schools does not support this agenda.

Dr. Bisung, who is the Lead Investigator in the research, stated that the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on water and sanitation was linked to the provision inclusive WASH facilities at all levels of society.

He said it was important for government and all actors in the development space to make conscious efforts at making available inclusive WASH facilities across all stages of human and social interaction.

Dr. Ebenezer Dassah, a Lecturer at the KNUST and Co-Lead Investigator on the research, also observed that children with physical disabilities stand high risk of malnutrition and poor dietary conditions due to their situation in relation to WASH facilities available to them.

He said such children intentionally do not eat some foods for the fear that it may push them to go to the toilet in school which they find difficult accessing.

He added that the case is even further worsen by the associated stigma children with physical disabilities face in trying to use such disability-unfriendly WASH facilities in schools.

Mr. Urbanus Wedaaba Azupogo, a Research Assistant to Dr. Bisung, who was presenting the research finding, explained that most students with physical disabilities face psychosocial stresses as a due to their inability to access WASH facilities.

The research was funded by the Queen’s University, Canada, and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

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