By YVONNE HAIP
THE Eastern Highlands provincial government has no direct plans to address the needs of people living with disabilities, but depends on other agencies to execute their programme.
This was revealed by the Mt Sion Centre for the Blind programme coordinator Cecilia Bagore in response to the disabled people’s concerns that they were not benefiting from any Government funding.
She said the Government allocated between K15 and K40 per person for people living with disabilities annually and that was not enough for the implementation agencies like the health and community development offices to carry out their programmes.
Ms Bagore said disabled people who were part of inclusive education benefited from K40 while the rest were budgeted for K15 per person each year.
She said currently, most of their money came from overseas funding and non-profit organisations.
Ms Bagore said the funding was divided into the programmes offered to self help groups and recognised groups formed by disabled people, and was implemented by recognised service providers.
She said that they worked with people living with disabilities at the community level, and their group comprises of community based rehabilitation officers, physiotherapists, specialists and organisations representatives.
She called for those living with disabilities to form groups and liaise with them so they could work with them.
Mt Sion Centre for the Blind is situated in Goroka, Eastern Highlands province, and focuses on visual impairment coordinating but also carries out special education and rehabilitation programs for the crippled, deaf and others with physical disabilities.
Even though it is centered in Goroka, it also has patients in the other Highlands provinces as well as Lae and Madang, and works alongside other non profit organisations based in different provinces in order to realise the National Government’s objectives.