COVID-19: How has the pandemic impacted on persons with disabilities in Nigeria?


Authors: Solomon I Ifejika
Page Range: 199-213
Published in: International Journal on Disability and Human Development, Volume 22 Issue 3
ISSN: 2191-1231

Table of Contents


This study assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities (PWDs) in the Nigerian context. Relying on data collected from secondary sources and analyzed using the thematic and discourse techniques of qualitative data analysis, the study found that the global public health emergency occasioned by the outburst of the novel coronavirus disease in Wuhan, China and its spread has detri-mentally affected the 25 million PWDs in Nigeria. As the paper reveals, the pandemic and the application of government containment measures – imposition of lockdown and movement restrictions orders, have resulted in unprecedented disruption of the livelihoods of PWDs, set the health and safety of these vulnerable citizens on the edge by denying access to medical services, particularly for those requiring continuing health care, among others. Consequently, the study posits, based on the COVID-19 pandemic experience, that Nigeria lacks any existing robust framework for protecting its citizens with disabilities and other vulnerable groups during emergencies, concluding that this holds certain implications for the Africa’s most populous country. Ideally, the study recommends critical measures that Nigeria should take to ameliorate the plight of its disabled citizens amid the current COVID-19 crisis and in similar emergencies in the future.

Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, human rights, people with disabilities, public health emergency, social protection, social inclusivity

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