Enhancing hospitals capacity to support children with disabilities

Kitale, Kenya 13 September 2017 –  The Ministry of Health has developed guidelines to address early identification and referral of children with disabilities and special needs as well as disability medical assessment to guide all hospitals.

The guidelines are part of the comprehensive implementation of the Disability Act 2003.

The revelations were made by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu during the launch of “Help Me Walk Project” by Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of the Republic of Kenya at Kitale ACK grounds on Wednesday September   13th, 2017.

The ‘Help Me Walk Project,’ is an initiative of the AIC Cure International Hospital geared towards providing services to children with disabilities.

He thanked the First Lady for initiating projects to help the needy in the society and noted that the Ministry of Health has built capacity at national and county levels to enhance community based rehabilitation for persons with disability.

“The state of art surgical equipment under the Managed Equipment Services (MES) will facilitate specialized services at county level,” he added.

He also lauded the AIC Cure International Hospital effort in increasing access to specialized health services to the needy thus contributing to the positioning of the country as a destination for specialized health and medical services, which in turn will contribute to medical tourism.

According to the 2007 Kenya National Survey for Persons with Disability,  physical disability and visual impairment are identified as the most prevalent disabilities. Out of 4.6% persons found to be with disabilities, 19% of the disabilities were due to diseases, 14% birth defects, while 12% were due to accidents.

The CS observed that children with disabilities are unable to optimize on other human rights and may end up achieving lower both academically and economically. This can however be avoided through prevention, early identification, and early treatment and rehabilitation of children with disabilities.

“Measures must also be taken to combat discrimination and give children with disabilities the opportunity to achieve independence and self-determination,” he said.

Chapter 54 of the Constitution of Kenya entitles any person with disability to be treated with dignity and respect, and have access to assistive and supportive devices to overcome constraints arising from the disability. “We note with appreciation that more than 400 needy persons living with disabilities will receive surgical intervention, mobility assistive devices or rehabilitative physiotherapy care from through the project,”said Dr. Mailu.

The CS also thanked Lotto Foundation and Mediamax for supporting the project and urged others in the Private sector to support health initiatives.

“We shall endeavor to build strong partnerships, bringing on board synergies from all stakeholders to deliver quality healthcare to all,” he said.