Disability in Kenya

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), disability affects 10% of every population. An estimated 650 million people worldwide, of whom 200 million are children, experience some form of disability. Surveys conducted in 55 countries by the Disability Statistics Compendium show prevalence rates varying from 0.2% to 21%. Longer viewed as merely the result of
impairment, disability has many causes. Today, the most common form of disabilities are associated with chronic respiratory diseases, cancer, diabetes. Closer home disability in Kenya is at 10%. According to Kenya National bureau of Statistics 1 in every 10 Kenyans are living with disability. From the national bureau of Statistics in 2013 there were 647,689 Males and 682,623 Female living with disability

This is as a comparison with the global estimates of about two out of 10 persons. “Overall, higher rates of disabilities were found among children in rural areas at 60 per cent as compared to those in urban areas at 40pc,” States the National Special Needs Education Survey (NSNES).

From the Survey we learn that the most prevalent disabilities  are:                  

                          –  multiple disabilities at 31 per cent.

                         – visual impairment at 20 per cent

                        –  hearing impairment at 10 per cent

                        –  physical impairment at nine per cent.

It adds that higher rates of disabilities among girls stands at 54 per cent compared with boys at 46 per cent.  There are a total of 386 institution of Special education spread all around the country. This institutions are not financed well and in most cases the institutions run out of essential supplies.

The National council of Persons living with Disability is a body mandated by Law to take care of the people living with disability. According to the 2010 new constitution, it is mandatory for the government to offer 5% of all contract to Persons living with disability.

The Main issues affecting Persons living with Disability in Kenya are:

They include:

a)  implementation of access to education policies . Kenya has the best policies for Learners with disabilities. the problem is its implementation. This is because educational outcomes for children and adults with disabilities are still low.

b) Accessibility: most of buildings are inaccessible with steep staircases and no ramps, some with very narrow doors that cannot accommodate a person on a wheelchair. On transportation, public transport is completely inaccessible to persons with disabilities.

c) Information:  the monitoring revealed that information is disseminated through traditional media of newspapers, television, radio and though the internet. This posed great challenge to persons with disabilities especially those who live in areas where they do not have access to electricity,

See Also: Assistive Devices in Kenya 2018

d) work and employment,  Very few persons with disabilities had joined formal employment with many reporting that the set qualifications for certain positions were too high not considering the challenges Meetings organized by local leadership mainly provincial administration. Also included dissemination of employment information such
as vacancy announcements in inaccessible formats mainly through newspapers
and internet which many of them could not access.

e)  social protection: the government commendably instituted mechanisms to ensure social security for persons with disabilities through legislation like the Social Assistance Act 2013 and policies on cash transfer system which targets persons with severe disabilities. However the coverage is still low at 94 persons with severe disabilities per constituency and the allocation of Kshs 2000 per month is meager compared to number of needs and inflation rate.

6. Access to justice, persons with disabilities continue to face a lot challenges when seeking justice with key obstacles being inaccessibility and exercise of legal capacity especially for persons with intellectual disability.

See also: Beyond disability in Kenya

Disability in Kenya can be handled well if there were good implementation of the good laws that have been developed by the government.


News Reporter

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