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Dorcas Rigathi calls for use of ICT to enhance autism awareness

Deputy President’s Wife, Pastor Dorcas Rigathi has called for use of ICT in creating awareness and acceptance of autism.

Autism, she observed, has been a burden to families with affected children saying there is a need for creating awareness and helping the families to accept and seek help in reverting the condition.

Mrs. Rigathi noted that embracing use of ICT will help in gaining awareness and acceptance of autism thus helping parents to seek medical assistance for their children early enough.

Use of digital tools, she added, will help to communicate issues affecting children with autism and assist in innovation and development of assistive devices to better their lives and living conditions.

She said autism is not a disease but a condition which can be managed, noting that parents with children with autism have a set of unique challenges.

Mrs Rigathi who spoke at Kirwara Heath Centre in Murang’a during celebrations to mark World’s Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month stated the condition when detected early can be rectified.

“A big challenge with autism is late detection of the condition which affects acceptance by the parents and the community. With awareness, a parent may know and take children for screening early. When the condition is detected early, the child will be assisted,” she added.

She called for partnership between the government, county governments among other actors to intervene and help children with autism and those with disabilities.

“It’s a big burden for parents to take care of a child with autism or disability. This needs assistance from the government among other organizations,” she further said.

Mrs Rigathi further said the needs of persons living with disabilities are not adequately addressed in the country.

Facilities to assist those with disabilities, she observed, are missing in public places and vehicles.

“There is a big gap in providing the needs of those with disabilities. Most buildings and public vehicles lack the necessities needed to help those physically challenged and my office will continue to work with the government in addressing the plight of those disabled,” remarked Mrs. Rigathi.

During the occasion, she launched a physiotherapy centre that was built and equipped by the county government of Murang’a in partnership with Nutrition International.

Murang’a Governor Irungu Kang’ata said the centre will help in managing children with autism and those with disabilities from the county.

“The physiotherapy centre will help in managing and treating children with autism and those with disabilities. The centre is well equipped with modern facilities and will go a long way in assisting people from this county,” said Kang’ata.

He urged parents not to hide children with autism and those disabled but instead take them for medical checkup saying the services in the centre will be free of any charge.

By Bernard Munyao

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