President Museveni has blamed the rise in disability cases on poor medical services and failure of pregnant mothers to utilise the available health facilities.
Museveni said on Wednesday that some cases such as deafness and dumbness, caused mainly by bacterial and viral infections, can be detected by doctors but mothers have not bothered to visit their health centres.
“I don’t want the population for persons with disabilities to continue growing. We should handle the cases we have now but prevent the new babies from being disabled,” Museveni said “This must be really our strategy.”
The president was speaking at the national celebrations for the Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) at Kitimbwa Church of Uganda PS in Bbaale sub-county, Kayunga district. The day, celebrated under the theme “Technology for persons with disabilities, Promoting inclusion for sustainable development,” saw PWDs receive free treatment, wheelchairs, and crutches, among others.
Museveni was also upset that the district medical officer had not attended the critical event and the residents did not even know him.
“This is a day of the disabled but the doctor is not here,” Museveni wondered, after residents presented to him the chief administrative officer (CAO) and the resident district commissioner (RDC) as the people in charge of medical services.
He called for equipping of all health centre IIIs so that expectant mothers can access equipment like CT scans in order to prevent disabilities that may affect their babies before and after birth. Aida Girma, the Unicef representative, said some communities traditionally still believed that children with disabilities (Cwds) are a curse and therefore need to be eliminated.
“Some parents hide and lock children in their homes while others deny them food and education,” Girma said, adding that this leads to rejection, neglect and denial to access basic rights, leading to Cwds being subjected to physical and sexual abuse.
She said technology would be one of the avenues that could be used to reach out to the most marginalised children with disability. Henry Nyombi, the chairman National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (Nudipu), asked the president to ensure that taxes are waived on products purchased by PWDs such as wheelchairs, braille machines, and white sticks to ensure that they live a better life.
Museveni assured the people of Kayunga that coffee seedlings would be distributed to them by UPDF officers in the next planting season as a move to eradicate poverty in their homes as long as they have land. He also pledged to hold a special meeting with PWDs to audit their achievements, challenges and chart the way forward.
Source : The Observer