Day of Persons With Disabilities : Invisible Cases On The Spotlight

Activities to commemorate the 29th edition of the day were launched in Yaounde on November 24, 2020.

The 29th edition of the International Day of Persons With Disabilities will be commemorated on December 3, 2020. In prelude to the event, the Ministry of Social Affairs is mobilizing the national community around the disability problems people face especially those with invisible cases.  Official launching of activities to mark the day took place on November 24, 2020 at the Cardinal Paul Emile Leger National Rehabilitation Centre for People with Disabilities, (CNRPH). Presiding at the ceremony was the Secretary General of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Berly Panje Itoh, on behalf of the Minister of Social Affairs. It was also an occasion to officially launch activities for the evaluation of actions carried out in favour of persons with disabilities. 

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Speaking during the event, the Secretary General at the Ministry of Social Affairs said activities were holding under the theme “Not All Disabilities Are Visible.” The theme, she said, is an appeal to individuals to pay particular attention to people with an invisible disability.  Invisible disability, she explained, is a disability that is not apparent to the eye. It is those situations where an individual has a lasting limitation of interaction without those around being able to easily understand that it is indeed a handicap. Berly Panje said this is the case for people of normal appearance, but who suffer from mental illness, vision or hearing problems, brain damage, neurological disorders or cognitive dysfunction. These impairments cause them to be marginalized just like those with physical disabilities.

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The Secretary General said whether psychological, physical, sensory or cognitive, invisible disability concerns millions of people and the entire community should be mobilized around these issues.  Berly Panje said in Cameroon, the situation of persons with disabilities is still not bright and their place in the society is not very satisfying. In order to protect the rights of people with disabilities, Cameroon has placed particular emphasis on the retrospective evaluation of actions carried out in the key sectors of the protection of the rights of people with disabilities. The country had aligned itself with the Action Plan for the Second African Decade of People with Disabilities (2010-2019) adopted by the African Union Conference which aimed to achieve full participation, equality and empowerment of persons with disabilities. During week-long activities, the Sub-director for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, Emmaculate Awa Fru said they will evaluate actions such as those to strengthen the legal and institutional protection framework; prevention of impairments, rehabilitation and the socioeconomic reintegration of persons with disabilities.

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