Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health Permanent Secretary Elywn Chomba has urged Zambians to discard the long held negative traditional perceptions towards persons with disabilities.
Professor Chomba said such negative views have greatly led to stigmatization and discrimination of persons with disabilities.
She explained that such perceptions are the basis for the adoption of discriminatory policies and legal frameworks that continue to perpetuate exclusion of persons with disabilities from mainstream development and decision making.
Professor Chomba stated that when persons with disabilities are unable to participate fully in community development life, the result is social isolation and human rights violation.
She said government has since enacted the persons with disabilities act aimed at providing legal frame work for mainstreaming disability into the national agenda.
Professor Chomba said this in a speech read on her behalf by Social Welfare director Stanfied Michelo during the official opening of the two- day workshop held at Chrismar Hotel in Lusaka.
The workshop is aimed at disseminating information and ensuring that government departments and institutions domesticate and apply the concepts required to mainstream disability in government’s programmes.
And speaking at the same event, Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD) acting director general Obbie Musama called for an end to the marginalisation of people with disabilities.
He said there is need to actualise the full potential of persons with disabilities through implementation of more proactive programmes.