A US based ex-Liberian photojournalist, who is also the founder of the Liberia Diabetes Testing Center in Monrovia, has disclosed that he has secured several crutches in the united states for scores of Liberians suffering from walking disability.
James Momoh made the disclosure recently during an interview from the United States. He said coming to the aide of Liberians with walking disability was a result of his assessment visit on the health needs of the people of Liberia during his visit to the country last year.
Momoh explained, people suffering from walking disabilities are either victims of treatable arthritis, birth defects, such as clubfoot, leg injuries, bone fractures and infections that damaged the leg tissues.
“Mobility impairment” according to Momoh, is a physical condition that makes a person unable to use one or more of his or her extremities, or a lack of strength to walk, grasp, or lift objects. The Liberian who is also senior at Jersey City University in the United States majoring in sociology and community health said physical disabilities are of different types, but becomes severe if the person suffered from Brain injury, Amputation, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.
Quoting a UNICEF report, the former Liberian journalist said about 16 per cent of the population in Liberia suffered from disability and 61 per cent have a mobility disability, attributing the civil war as a major contributor to the staggering number of people with disability in Liberia.
He said about 99 per cent of persons with disabilities in Liberia live in extreme poverty mainly due to exclusion from education, skills training, work and income. Momoh said, people with disability are part of the Liberian society and must be provided the needed support and the opportunity to education, skills training, employment opportunities and income.
The former journalist said the crushes which were acquired through personal funding will be donated to several communities or institutions that are providing care to people with walking disabilities. He urged Liberians to join his efforts stressing his engagement in Liberia in diabetes prevention and management and other preventive medical conditions has saved the lives of thousands of Liberians that were prematurely dying from diabetes due to the lack of a testing and awareness center until it was established in the country.
Momoh said the donation will be his first initiative in bringing relief to people with walking disability in Liberia and intends to extend the exercise to other counties where people are also living with the complications of immobility