Backlog of 32,000 registration applications by persons with disabilities to be cleared

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – Thirty two thousand Kenyans, who had sought to be registered as persons with disabilities, will in the next one month know the outcome of their applications.

This follows a plan by the Ministry of Health to clear the backlog of 32,000 reports, as part of the Rapid Results Initiative that was launched by Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleophas Mailu last month.

Chief Physiotherapist Titus Kilika said that an oversight committee of five doctors and four physiotherapists will evaluate the disability medical assessment reports that had been sent to the Ministry by different level four and five hospitals in the country.

He explained that the committee members would assess each individual application before forwarding recommendations to the National Council for Persons with Disabilities.

“We will be on a working retreat in Machakos town for one week verifying the reports,” he said.

Mr. Kilika added that the committee’s recommendations would be guided by certain criteria that had been laid out and which the applicants must meet for their request to go through.

“Applications can be deferred or rejected. Deferment occurs when the applicants fail to submit sufficient information in their application. Those who do not meet the threshold will however be advised accordingly,” he explained.

Once an individual is registered as a person with disability, he or she can apply for benefits such as tax exemption; claim tax relief from treatment received in hospital and can also import vehicles duty free. Their tax relief applications must however be reviewed by the National Council for Persons with Disabilities before it is forwarded to the Kenya Revenue Authority.

This programme begun in 2009 and has seen 308, 000 people registered as persons living with disabilities. Out of these, 8, 690 enjoy tax exemptions.

Last October, 10,000 applications were assessed and submitted to the National Council for Persons with Disabilities.

“When we started, people would come from all over the country to the Ministry to be registered which was a bit challenging for them,” he said.