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Calls to empower PwDs during Covid-19 period

Several parents from Gatundu North Sub County whose children suffer from Cerebral Palsy are a relieved lot after area MP Patrick Wainaina donated wheelchairs, putting an end to years of mobility struggles.

To Evelyn Kalekye, a mother of two from Ituruini village, the donation would put to an end 12 years of suffering for her daughter after the girl was diagnosed with a severe spinal problem.

She used to part with Sh200 each day to pay a help to look after her daughter as she hawked eggs to make a living, after her husband quit their marriage years ago citing a difficult life.

Her daughter cannot talk, walk or sit, but can hear and had been put into a therapeutic session to help regain some of her senses, but the family was drained of finances.

“Were it not for this condition, she would be in class seven. It has been a challenging 12 year for me as she requires special care all that while.  However, I’m now relieved that the new wheelchair will make her comfortable and that she will be able to move around,” she said.

Special schools have also denied her admission citing her inability to perform several important functions.

“I would appreciate it if I can get a school that can admit her. I also need support for her spinal cord treatment,” she said.

Her experience was shared by 30 other beneficiaries whom the deformities have made it difficult for them to fend for their families.

Josphat Wainaina from Mang’u village who is physically challenged says the wheelchair would help to move to the market where he sells sweets.

“This will be a life-changing donation. Before this gesture, life was challenging. I felt like I failed in providing for my family,” he said.

Thika MP Patrick Wainaina who donated the mobility chairs through his Jungle Afya programme asked parents not to hide their handicapped children as exposing them out would allow well-wishers aid them achieve life dreams.

He called on the government to ensure Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) get special preference when seeking for opportunities for economic empowerment, especially during the Covid-19 period.

He said the equipment would protect them from Covid-19 infections, as most of them crawl and don’t wash hands, putting them at risk of touching infected surfaces.

He asked PwDs to form groups and clusters where they can be empowered with loans and other opportunities to generate income.

“There should be spaces in our markets set aside for PwDs to operate for free. In other areas of economic empowerment, they should be given preferential treatment given the challenges that they are exposed to,” said the MP, while donating the wheelchairs to 30 PwDs at Mitero market, Gatundu North Sub County Thursday.

By Muoki Charles

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