Empowering children with disabilitiesMarch 29, 2022
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Children with disabilities in Uganda.
There’s quite a number of children with disabilities in Uganda with different kinds of disabilities raging from mental retardation, hearing difficulties, limited use of limbs, lack of sight or blindness, hearing impairment, inability to walk, to mention but a few.
Most of these children are not able to attend school as they are seen as less productive to the community. According to the Ugandan Bureau of statistics (UBOS), about 12% of the Ugandan population live with disabilities today.
Why are there many children with disabilities in Uganda?
Are youwondering why there are many children with disabilities in Uganda! The reasons for such circumstances are vast in number and they include but not limited to the following;
- The prevailing HIV/AIDS and its effects. Pregnantmothers who are HIV positive and are ignorant mother–to–child transmission services in most cases give birth to disabled children with mental disabilities.
For example mental retardation that makes it hard for such a child to participate in activities that require intellectual abilities as this virus weakens the brains of both the mother and the child.
- The increasing cases of poverty. Most pregnant mothers give birth to disabled children due to poverty. These mothers lack enough financial support to access antenatal care services. More so, some pregnant mothers are not in position of buying nutritious food that a baby requires to grow with good health. This results into malnutrition and its effects on children hence causing the high numbers of disabled children in Uganda.
- Inadequate sensitization of the pregnant mothers. Due to poverty, Ugandan mothers are not in position of accessing antenatal services.Thee mothers fail to get advice and become ignorant on how they should handle their health.
- They fail to know what types of food are they supposed to eat during and after pregnancy. As a result they end up giving birth to disabled children leading to increasing cases of disabled children in Uganda.
- Child neglect by their mothers. In Uganda most mothers in the work field leave their responsibilities in the hands of house maids to be in charge of their children.These maidssometimesgive less attention to the children.
- They care less on how and where these children play from and may end up getting serious injuries like falling off from trees while playing. Those that stay near the road get knocked down by vehicles and end up losing their arms or legs that is only if they are lucky enough to survive death.
- Use of drugs and non-prescribed medicine by pregnant mothers. Some mothers resort to the use ofnon-prescribed tablets and drugs like cocaine, tobacco, alcohol and marijuana that hinders fetal development or even sometimes causing premature labour that leading to giving birth to premature babies who in most cases have mental disabilities leading to increasing numbers of disabled children.
- Domestic violence in homes. The increasing numbers of disabled children are also due to endless fights in homes where a misunderstanding arises between a parent and a child.
- Parents end up beating the child badly and as a result a parent may cause an everlasting injury on the child’s body parts. This causes disability to the child hence increasing the number of disabled children in Uganda.
Are disabled children of value to Ugandan communities?
Yes, disabled children are of great value to Uganda because when they are educated they can become great people like lawyers, doctors, engineers sometimes even more than those who are abled.
Therefore, we call upon the government together with the parents and care takers to put emphasis on the equality of all children in families regardless of their disabilities by allowing them to join schools and participate in domestic work to discover what they can do best and what skills can they acquire to add value to the country.
Milele Foundation Uganda
Disabled children empowerment