Covid-19 has ravaged the lives of persons living with disabilities across the country with their guardians and parents now becoming daily beggars to sustain them.
According to a section of parents with physically challenged children in Githurai, Kiambu County, the global pandemic brought about confusion forcing most of them to stop working to protect their children from exposure to the deadly virus.
While having a disability doesn’t by itself put someone at a higher risk of getting infected, the parents said that many of their children with disabilities have specific underlying conditions that make the disease more dangerous for them.
Led by Keziah Wanjiru whose child battles cerebral palsy, a permanent movement disorder that appears in early childhood, most parents have been fearing to work to avoid getting infected and transmitting the same to their children.
Speaking when Ruiru MP Simon King’ara and Master Empowerment, a Community Based Organization that offers Counselling services and Community Mentor-ship programs from Githurai donated mobility equipment to 35 children with physical challenges, Wanjiru said that besides fearing Covid-19, their children have been developing complications due to overstaying in one location for lack of movement gears.
Her sentiments were echoed by Zipporah Wanjiru a mother whose two children are fully incapacitated and who took issue with the community for failing to embrace them as humans.
“The society still believes some of us are witched and that we should seek redemption,” she said.
Wanjiru, a casual worker said that life became harder when Covid-19 set its foot in the country decrying that even finding money to purchase necessities for them has been a problem.
“I spend Sh 40,000 for one of the disabled children every month, something that became unbearable since Covid-19 was reported in the country. I have since been begging well-wishers in the community, church and from friends to keep them alive,” said Wanjiru.
Speaking after the event, King’ara urged the government to expedite registration of new persons living with disabilities that stalled three years ago to enable them to benefit from government funding.
“Parents and guardians have heeded to a call to stop hiding their children and from this, more are now able to benefit in education, government and non governmental support thereby giving them hope,” he said.
The MP also took issue with men for escaping the duties of attending to their disabled children leaving them to their wives.
“Stop absconding your responsibilities as parents. You sired these children together and similarly, you should bear the burden of bringing them up,” he told men.
He called for inclusion and the effective participation of all persons with disability in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.