Self-help group for mothers with disabled children
In Uganda, people with disabilities continue to be largely excluded from communal life. Children with disabilities, in particular, are often hidden, cast our, or in some cases even killed. The mothers of disabled children are often cut off from their extended families, and the fathers of such children often leave their families.
The Uganda National Household Survey only records disabilities from the age of five. This means that disabled children under the age of five are not counted in the survey. However, the survey records that a total of 7.1 per cent of Ugandans – or around 2.1 million people – are disabled.
Disabilities are most common in the country’s huge number of underprivileged areas. This is because most women in these regions lack access to medical care during their pregnancy, or knowledge of risks that can damage the unborn child. Environmental pollution, inappropriate medications, as well as malaria and infectious diseases also contribute to the high rate of disability.
Malteser International has been supporting the mothers’ initiative ‘Suubi Lyaffe’ in Uganda’s capital Kampala since 2016. The initiative is a self-help group created by a community of mothers, who take turns to care for up to 15 disabled children. Relying entirely on the support of individual members of the public, and the local parish, we supply the mothers with the cost of wheelchairs, orthotics, and the building that they use. We also bring the children to special treatments, and train the mothers in ways to increase their income. A physiotherapist who has worked with the children for several years on a voluntary basis is also available to help.
To improve the availability of medical and social care for disabled children
- Transporting the children to medical specialists
- Giving practical support to the group, including with the rental of a building
- Training the mothers in income generating measures
- Monitoring by the Malteser International team in Kampala
Area: 241.040 km²
Population: c. 47.8 million
Duration: since January 2016
Donors: Private donors
Partner: Suubi Lyaffe
Last updated: April 2016