Inclusion and participation of people with disabilities is crucial in ending stigma, a challenge which hinders them from seeking the right help.
Nyamira County director for National Council for People with Disability (NCPWD) Lydia Matende while sensitizing National Government Administrative Officers (NGAO) on how to handle people with disabilities pointed that they needed to be included in several activities even though they would not achieve as much like those without disabilities.
“Though people with disability have limited capacity which hinder their full and effective participation in various activities in society on an equal measure as others, they are humans created with a sense of belonging and need to be involved and allowed to participate in various family and community activities depending on their capability,” Ms Matende stated.
She challenged government officers to sensitize members of the public to be sensitive when handling people with disabilities because they are part of our community and will continue living with us; the more reason why we should create an accommodative and inclusive environment for them to easily grow and relate.
“NGAO is key in advising community members to stop stereotyping people with disabilities because no one decided to have a disability. Make appropriate provisions for them to live and operate in with ease since disability can come to anyone at any stage in their life,” she said.
The County NCPWD official explained that families and communities where the disabled lived have a key role in enabling them accept their status and stop stigmatizing and blaming anyone for their disability status. “Rather, the purpose is to remove societal barriers which hinder them from participating in community activities despite their limitations,” she pleaded.
An occupational therapist at Nyamira Referral Hospital Dr. Joshua Juma said that disability has been compounded with high levels of poverty and lack of proper nutrition in the majority of affected households in the region which hinders early detection for intervention strategies to be put in place so that they are helped.
“Medics at the pre-natal and post-natal care facilities always encourage mothers to attend regular clinics and ensure comprehensive examination for both mother and child is done to detect any disabilities or factors which may predispose them to be attacked by a disability,” Dr. Juma said.
He hinted that high autism and cerebral palsy intellectual disabilities in Nyamira are worrying and advised that mothers should strive to improve on their nutrition and regular medical check-ups for their children so that these conditions and any other disability could be detected and be controlled and if they are unfortunately affected, they are supported and advised on management.
Nyamira South Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Flora Obunga has pledged that NGAOs is more than willing to collaborate with several other partners who are willing to support people with disability. At the same time sensitize communities to change their perception on stereotyping people with disability amongst our society.
By Deborah Bochere