The Safaricom Foundation and CBM Kenya, an international disability inclusive development organization, have successfully completed the third phase of the Wezesha Elimu Project with a mobile clinic held in Homabay Level 5 Hospital. Through the programme, the two organisations aim to address the factors that limit children with disabilities from accessing education.
During this third phase, 122 children underwent corrective surgeries, 78 received assistive devices, 129 parents, guardians and caregivers were trained on home-based care and 5 schools were modified for better accessibility. Other activities included sensitization of community members about Covid-19 and capacity building sessions for different Ministry of Education members.
(TOP: Ida Juma, Safaricom Foundation Senior Programmes Officer, Safaricom – left – with Beverly Auma – centre -, a beneficiary of the Wezesha Elimu Programme at Homabay Level 5 Hospital).
“We launched the first phase of the programme in 2016 with the main objective of securing education for children with disabilities in Kenya through surgical interventions and rehabilitation. Since then we have reached over 20,000 children and this has been made possible through countrywide mobile clinics in some of the most marginalized counties in Kenya”, said Monica Wandera, Programme co-ordinator, CBM Kenya.
The partnership has helped raise awareness and sensitise Kenyans about the rights of children with disabilities when it comes to education. There has been an increase in demand for surgical interventions and rehabilitation services as parents and guardians are now empowered with more information.
In the first and second phase of the programme, 420 surgeries were performed, 535 children with disabilities placed in schools, 384 Mobility assistive devices issued while 347 children underwent rehabilitation with 879 referred for specialized treatment.
According to the National Survey on Children with Disabilities and Special Needs in Education (KISE 2017), the prevalence rate of children with special needs and disabilities aged between 3 and 21 years in Kenya is 11.4%.