Challenges of living a disabled life in Uganda
Being with so many ethnic groups in Uganda, people have so many superstitions and some of them are incredibly unjust. Imagine thinking of the disabled people to be cursed, with evil spirits, or even perhaps punished by the ancestors for their actions.
There is little understanding that people with Disabilities are also just human beings, equal to everyone else and entitled to the same privileges, opportunities and rights. The disabled people in Uganda totally dependent on others for support. And yes, this is supposed to be because how can a person without arms or legs fetch water, of course there is some assistance required.
Unfortunately people that are supposedly offering help frequently mistreat them, since they even lack the means to effectively manage their disability and related needs like mobility devices, medication and regular medical treatment.
Disabled people in Uganda have no capacity to decide their fate, they are abandoned in the rural areas hence staying poor, helpless, neglected and betrayed by the community and family. Even the ones in towns are considered community outcasts that are always rejected.
People with disabilities in Uganda face a number of challenges, of which some are not solved, people are constantly giving a deaf ear and a blind eye to the sufferings of these people.
Lack of community mobilization and advocacy; this has been because of weak institutional framework as a result of poor coordination between government institutions and civil society organizations of people with disabilities in Uganda. Maybe the government would give a yearly upper hand to the disabled homes and schools.
There is a difficulty like lack of ramps, handle rails and unadjustable beds. Using the public transport the most convenient means of travel to different places like health centers is a big problem to the disabled people in Uganda, vehicles used are not disability friendly.
Most of the disabled people in Uganda are poor and when they fall sick and get any healthy problems, are unable to afford proper treatment hence leading them to significantly more likely to acquire a disability with in their life time.
People with disability lack access to public and government facilities like hospitals, schools and legal centers like courts and police stations. They end up having nowhere to run to in case they have problems.
They also face multiple discriminations and rejections. They are often more disadvantaged than other people, experiencing different life styles due to biological, psychological, economic, social and political attributes associated with being disabled.
People with disabilities in Uganda are left homeless, live on the streets where they are more vulnerable and endure the unwanted conflicts and assaults. The disabled people especially the female endure sexual exploitation and due to the rape and defilement, they have contacted HIV/AIDS, and unwanted pregnancies.
The disabled women face the burden of raising fatherless children alone hence increasing their difficulties. It becomes hard for the mother to work to feed her children and also to send them to school.
Other disabled people in Uganda are unemployed because they are uneducated and vocationally unskilled. And this increases disabled beggars on the streets of Kampala.
The disabled people in Uganda always underestimate themselves before others in the society, they simply lack the self-esteem. In their mentality, they think they do not fit in the society like other able people. This is seen in self-pity, loss of self-esteem and non- reporting of human rights violations against them.
However, a number of organizations reaching out to the disabled people in Uganda. They reach out to disabled people like helping them out plus donating resources like clothes, food among others. We all have different and unique ways of showing love to disabled people in Uganda.
Volunteering in Uganda is also a good idea. It gives you a chance to help in teaching in the disabled schools in Uganda or treat them in the community.
Remember it is our role and duty to create a conducive environment for the people with disabilities in Uganda and it should be each and every one’s moral authority to accommodate others in the society for the good of us all to live in.