People with disabilities are at high risk of contracting infectious diseases due to disability unfriendly water, hygiene and sanitation (Wash) facilities in the country.
Sian White, a researcher with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine disclosed this to Malawi News Agency (Mana).
White said people with disabilities have difficulties to access water points, bathrooms and toilets which are often muddled with filth or have no sits for people with difficulties in squatting.
She cited stepped water points and unsanitary washrooms as some high risk areas.
“Even those people whose relations can afford to provide better facilities, they do not. It starts from individual households having unfriendly water points and toilets without even a traditional seat for those with physical challenges.
“They are forced to crawl and if the conditions are bad they start to hate the latrines. And at community level some water points have steps where people on wheel chairs cannot pass. Even some schools and public places have disability unfriendly facilities,” said White.
In Malawi, people with physical challenges like double and single amputees have difficulties to relieve themselves in latrines that demand squatting and have urine on the floor.
White said their study revealed Wash facilities were among three top challenges that people with disabilities face. n