Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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Wheel chairs that were donated to persons with disabilities in Kapenguria courtesy of the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya and Kenya Red Cross. [Photos | Leonard Wamalwa | West Fm]
Over sixty people with different types of disability in West Pokot County had a reason to smile yesterday after receiving aid from a faith based organization known as Christian Blind Mission - CBM.
The aid which was achieved in conjunction with the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya - APDK and Kenya Red Cross comprised of wheel chairs and crutches to assist the beneficiaries in mobility.
Mobility appliances received included wheel chairs and tricycles while orthopedic appliances included crutches, orthopedic boots and surgical boots which are for support purposes.
Speaking during the ceremony that was held at Kapenguria district hospital, the assistant national director of APDK Gideon Muga said that the aid was to support the victims on humanitarian services with appliances on what they need in such hardship areas.
"This program basically is to support persons with disabilities with appliances on what they need through humanitarian services by reaching them in their areas at the grass root level," said Muga.
He said that the APDK is partnering up with other donors and stakeholders to promote the livelihoods of parents with children with disabilities through a micro finance program in the organization.
However the director pointed out that the Pokot and Turkana counties have a large number of people with disabilities especially in Turkana where he said most of the disabilities are also caused by malnutrition.
"Turkana is worse because some of the children with disabilities are as a result of malnutrition due to lack of food and also being nomadic communities they sometime shift to other areas leaving behind the disabled or weakling children", said Muga.
The Assistant National Director of APDK Gideon Muga.
However, the exact number of the disabled persons in the area is yet to be established through the ongoing survey and sensitization being conducted by the organizations.
The director noted that sensitization program will not only establish the number of such people but will also enlighten some of the parents who up to now still hide their disabled children from members of the public in fear of stigma.
He said the organizations are also out to fight the stigma that has seen many children languish in poverty and harsh conditions because of the ignorance and fear of their parents.
It was revealed by the director who is also the program coordinator of the program that the entire country has a total of 4.5% of the entire population comprising of people with disabilities.
The support program which he said started in Turkana will also roll out to other parts of the country including Western, Nyanza and other parts.
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