Kenyan Woman Struggles with Hurdles of life

  • Location muindi mbingu street
  • Date Jun 15 2011
  • Time 17:06
  • Category Health   
  • Incident Incident
  • Nearby Incident Nearby Incident

Incident Report Description

With the escalating high demands of both rural and urban life, many people with disabilities are not able to access quality services either for their basic livelihoods or their professional development.

Notable hurdles still surround the number of trained teachers helping deaf and blind pupils. That’s why Parents of Deaf-blind Persons Organization (PADBPO) is continuously urging the Ministry of Education to accommodate more people with disabilities by integrating more special needs teachers in learning institutions.

Another challenge centers around health issues such as HIV/AIDS, which results in the loss of a number of parents for deaf-blind children.

Studies indicate that 50 percent of blindness is caused by Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS). This is a viral illness, which in children usually develops with few or no symptoms, although adults may experience between one and five days of low grade fever, headache, malaise and conjunctivitis.

It has been found that up to 20 percent of the infants born to mothers who had rubella during pregnancy have CRS. The most common congenital defects are cataracts, heart disease, sensorineural deafness and mental retardation.

In an interview with Jane Ouko, the National Treasurer of PADBPO, says that she tries to unfold the hidden part of her daughter Louise Otieno, who many people never know about. She is an example of how some parents of deaf-blind children hide their children to avoid stigmatization and disgrace from the community.

Jane says she has been through so much that these experiences become so routine to her she doesn’t fear them anymore. She encourages other parents to support their children adding that she now knows what it means to be in that position.

Raising Louise Jane says, has caused rejection, hatred and financial difficulties as she try to support and attend to her daughters work as a teacher.

Jane recalls how people even told her she has been witched and should seek a witch doctor’s advice. Being the youngest of her five children, people referred to Louise as an 'alien’ because she was different from the rest. But Jane says she took on a brave heart and struggled until the people who objected to her became friends

Louise, who is sixteen-years-old now, has sight and hearing problems. She cannot hear and is partially sighted, meaning she can only see objects that are very close to her eye. When she first started school she was very withdrawn. She weighed 1.9kg at birth, an abnormal weight which was the result of a hole in her heart. This made her life very complex and challenging but Jane says the hole healed from prayers and faith. Louise had a morbidity problem and was not able to wash and feed herself nor communicate with her family members.

Today, after long and thorough assessments with specialist staff at the Kilimani Integrated School in Nairobi where she learns, Louise is now able to walk by herself, wash herself and use utensils. In school she does bead making, which the school sells along with other objects made by pupils with disabilities as a way to generate income. Louise’s transformation has been extreme and her family life has improved.

Jane is so grateful to Sense International. Its aim is to help deaf-blind people in less developed countries to communicate, connect, interact and flourish. Jane says Sense International made her dream come true.

Jane is calling on the government to intervene and help Kilimani Integrated School to enable it in accommodating more people with disabilities through appointing more special needs teachers in the school so that every student is well attended to.
Credibility: UP  DOWN  1


Incident Report(s)

Civic education to better target womenNairobi, Kibera, Makina MosqueMay 27 2010
Amended Witness Protection Act publishedNairobiJun 11 2010
Land Subdivision HaltedNaivashaJun 14 2010
Geothermal Drilling on HoldNaivashaJun 15 2010
Leaders Blame ChurchNaivashaJun 15 2010