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COVID-19:Deaf community feels neglected, DPM invites FODSWA to engage his office

Tuesday, 26th May, 2020

MBABANE: The deaf community feels left out and neglected by the government of Eswatini during the scourge of COVI-19. 

People who are deaf and dump believe that government is not inclusive when it comes to raising awareness and cushioning of Emaswati during the trying times of the pandemic.

Reached for comment by this Swaziland News, Director of the Deaf Association Makhosini Makhubu said the country has many deaf people who should be allowed to access the information about COVID-19 so that they can protect themselves. 

“It pains us to note that nobody cares about the deaf community. Government is not doing enough to share crucial information with the deaf community such as how, where and when to register for food distribution. Some deaf people are business owners, owning dressmaking and shoe repair businesses, the lockdown has hit hard on them. They no longer have income to provide for their families” he said 

Fanelo Zikhali who is a deaf person expressed his frustrations to this Swaziland News. He told this publication that he felt marginalized and excluded during such a difficult time.

“First of all, I am being denied access to all important announcements and presentations by the Deputy Prime Minister, Police National Commissioner, and Ministers. When making announcements on Eswatini TV or press conferences, I can not hear and there are no subtitles” he said. 

Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku, when reached for comments by this publication advised the deaf community to approach FODSWA. 

“If this sector of our society feels neglected, they must approach FODSWA which is an umbrella body for people living with disabilities. Alternatively, they can visit the Disability Unit at the DPM\'s office. It is expected that persons with disabilities live in communities and the local authorities can inform them about social programs that are in place, such as food distribution” said the DPM.

COVID-19:Deaf community feels neglected, DPM invites FODSWA to engage his office
FODSWA President Sipho Dlamini