According to WHO 2011 One in seven persons worldwide experience some form of disability. This is to say 15 % of the world population are persons with disabilities.
Although in countries like Kenya in the 2019 census data collected by KBS indicated that it was at 2.2 %.
Does the ministry of health in Kenya have a disability desegrated system? Of course, the Kenyan disability sector has disputed the KBS numbers. According to the ministry of social protection in Kenya they have developed an inclusive data chatter and they have an implementation action plan.
This is in line with the global disability summit recommendation to 2019.
Will we have upcoming surveys becoming disability inclusive?
It is a well-known aspect that the population of persons with disabilities will keep increasing due to factors such as ageing populations and widespread chronic health conditions and now Covid 2019 is here with us.for example, The COVID 2019 pandemic has harmed people with disabilities in innumerable ways, yet few countries collect data that are disaggregated by disability. Most of the COVID media briefs held daily in Kenya have other demographics but lack reporting any data for persons with disabilities. This is affirmed by body of research by [IDA 2020, HI 2020 LCI 2020]
Moreover, Women and girls living with disabilities face particular challenges. “Women, young women and girls with disabilities have a high risk of being marginalized and seriously discriminated against. That reduces their economic and social status, it increases the risk of sexual violence and sexist attitudes against and towards them and [of] limited access to justice,”
Additionally, Persons with disabilities face inequality in social, economic, health and political spheres and are more likely to live in poverty than those without disabilities. They are also more likely to have risk factors for noncommunicable diseases and less likely to have access to essential health services. This is quite evidence in many global south nations since most persons with disabilities do not have national health insurance covers. It’s a survival for the fittest. When will this become a reality?
Most global south persons with disabilities literally live by government promises and well authored policy briefs and regulations.
Noticeably, most health services in the global south are not accessible thus rendering persons with disabilities more vulnerable. Imagine blind fellows will never read the printed materials placed on tables, medical personnel communicating to personal assistances or careers instead of the person with disabilities. Most hospital beds can not be adjusted for persons on wheelchairs or even short stature. All these amount to the systemic barrier’s persons with disabilities experience.
According to UNCRPD article 25 it emphasizes importance of promoting disability inclusion in the health sector to ensure persons with a disability enjoy the highest sustainable highest attainable standard of health, including access to quality disability inclusive health services, information and education across their lifetimes. For better health outcomes for persons with disabilities both national and county governments need to actively involve persons living with disabilities in decision-making and programme design. This will ensure that health systems and responses to health emergencies can better deliver on the needs of the people most affected.
As disability sausage media we largely associate ourselves with Oliver 1992insist who developed the catchphrase
“Nothing about us without us’
This means policy makers need to Meaningfully involve persons with disabilities in decision-making processes which should be a precondition for ensuring disability inclusion. meaningful inclusion of lived experience is absolutely fundamental to catalyze overdue progress
Most global south nations should adapt community-based strategies in order to improve access to the services to persons living disabilities through the optimal use of local resources.
As a public scholar I opine the global south nations should guarantee the disability services are incorporated into primary health care programmes at the community level – and that conversely disabled people also have full access to health services.
All in all, universal health covers should aim to scale up access to services and treatment for all persons with disabilities – using a more gender-sensitive and inclusive approaches. Join us in the disability sausage YouTube channel for much mouthwatering articles
The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.
Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.
Australian Chief Minister Award winner
“Excellence of making inclusion happen”