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Ecuador's 'Las Manuelas' Mission will visit 430 thousand homes

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According to the ‘Toda una Vida’ Secretariat, until June 2017, Ecuador had 434.348 people with disabilities who needed primary assistance through inclusive and comprehensive response mechanisms.
Secretaría Técnica Toda Una Vida

The goal during visits is to identify and update the information of all persons with disabilities for them to access to services offered by all government missions.

Quito, Nov 13 (Andes).-  Ecuador’s ‘Las Manuelas’ mission, a program promoted by the government of President Lenin Moreno in favor of people with disabilities, will be officially launched on November 14 in the Andean city of Ibarra.

The Mission is implemented by the Secretariat of the ‘Toda una Vida’ plan, recently created through executive decree N° 11 signed by the chief of state when he took office. Since then, it began a work of information systemization complemented with visits in cities like Quito, Durán, Guayaquil, Manta and Ambato.

The goal during visits is to identify and update the information of all persons with disabilities for them to access to services offered by all government missions including Trabajo joven, Casa para Todos, Mis mejores Años and Ternura. Moreover,  it aims at working against all forms of violence against women.

Las Manuelas se encargan de recorrer el país para levantar información sobre las personas que requieren la intervención inmediata del Gobierno. Foto: Secretaría Técnica Toda una Vida

‘Las Manuelas’ mission aims at visiting homes to update information of persons with disabilities who need immediate intervention from the government. Photo: Toda una Vida Technical Secretariat

A group of 295 members of the mission and military officers will visit homes. They are sometimes joined by the president’s wife, Rocio Gonzalez, who is the leader of this process as president of the ‘Toda una Vida’ interinstitutional committee. Authorities from the Ministry of Health provide technical aids (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.)

‘Las Manuelas’, inspired by Manuela Espejo, one of the most solidary Ecuadorians in history, was born was the second stage of the Eugenio Espejo mission, executed since 2008 by the then vice president and current President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno.

Between 2009 and 2011, the Manuela Espejo mission visited 24 provinces and 221 cantons in Ecuador. 293.743 people with disabilities were identified, 24% with intellectual disabilities and 76% with other disabilities. The prevalence of disabilities was 2.03%, according to figures from the World Bank.

According to the ‘Toda una Vida’ Secretariat, until June 2017, Ecuador had 434.348 people with disabilities who needed primary assistance through inclusive and comprehensive response mechanisms.

Based on such information, ‘Las Manuelas’ aims at expanding registries and integrating people who live in extreme poverty and vulnerability. “The mission continues, we are resuming the work done by the former Manuela Espejo Mission,” said the president’s wife.

‘Las Manuelas’ began their training on November 6 and they expect to visit 430 thousand homes in 20 months starting Tuesday. “The Ministry of Health teaches them to identify diseases and the level of disability of people they visit. Therefore, they can receive the support of institutions,” said Gisella Moreira, coordinator at ‘Las Manuelas’.

“There will be no Ecuadorian left behind,” said the leader of the program. Galo Onofre agrees with her. He is a 78-year-old man who has devoted his life to taking care of his children, Alfonso, 58, Antonio, 56 and Vilma, 52. “They are part of the love I felt for my wife, that’s why I love them and take care of them every day. If I don’t do it, who will?” he said.

Brigadas de Las Manuelas acompañaron al Ministerio de Salud Pública en la entrega de ayudas técnicas. Foto: Secretaría Técnica Toda una Vida.

Members at Las Manuelas and the Ministry of Public Health provided technical aids. Photo: Toda una Vida Secretariat.

His three children have more than 70% physical disability as a result of muscular dystrophy they suffer from since they were 14. “They used to run and walk up and down with their mother until they were diagnosed with such disease which also killed my wife 12 years ago,” he said.

He was given an anti-bedsores mattress for Vilma and a wheelchair for Alfonso. “We are a family; I will take care of them until God lets me,” he added. Gonzalez announced that this family will receive comprehensive assistance.

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