Kilifi County Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization Chairperson, Witness Tsuma, says that there are over 100,000 People Living with Disabilities in the area but expressed concern that only 30,000 have been registered.
She said as a result, most of them are not benefiting with funds meant for them while many others do not get the chance to be enrolled in special schools.
Tsuma said there is fear that large number of unregistered persons could be locked up at their homes by parents due to ignorance and cultural beliefs.
Some parents feel it is a taboo and shame for them to present their children with disabilities to the relevant organizations for support. We should discard these beliefs and bring forward these children so that they can either be supported or enrolled in schools, she said.
The women leader noted that a recent report released by the Centre for People Living with Disabilities (CPLD) revealed that majority of the physically challenged in the area are children who are left in their homes by parents as they are assumed to be a burden to the family.
She called for attitude change by parents, urging them to give the necessary basic needs and also have them registered with the government.
Tsuma told parents to discard the beliefs and superstitions that their disabled children could have been born as a result of witchcraft, curse and misfortunes stressing that it is not also the fault of children to be born with disabilities.
In developed countries, disabled children are fully supported by governments, given free education, healthcare and helped to expose their talents, unlike here where they are discriminated upon when it comes to even employment, she said.
She told the County Government which is directly responsible for assisting those with disabilities to set aside funds that will initiate more special schools and conduct a census of those with disabilities in a bid to give them the necessary support.
Source: Kenya News Agency