West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo has cautioned residents in pastoral areas against hiding people living with disabilities. It has been established that many disabled people in West Pokot County are not allowed to be seen in public because of cultural traditions.
Lonyangapuo urged residents to report any cases of children with disabilities hidden by their families. “We urge residents to expose those who have been hidden for them to get help. Many are taken as a bad omen in the society while others are being ignored,” he said.
The County boss revealed that through the Office of the First Lady only 167 of people living with disabilities in the County have been identified and many still not been reached. “They have spent three weeks identifying those with challenges. They have been vetted and link them to donors,” he said.
Speaking in Kapenguria during an event where children were seen off to undergo corrective surgery courtesy of Cure International at AIC Kijabe hospital, Lonyangapuo was shocked with the surging number of those who are abled differently in the County and commended Cure International for their work.
“We commend International for the work they are doing. We are planning to do the surgeries locally at the County level and those critical conditions will be transferred to Kijabe ,”he posed.
He said that the county has many disabled people who have not received help.
“We urge residents to expose those who have been hidden for them to get help .Many are taken as a bad omen in the society while others are being ignored, ” said Lonyangapuo.
He said people living with disabilities have rights like everyone else. However, he pointed out that corrective surgery is expensive, “The corrective surgery is expensive and one needs 66,000 shillings but many can’t afford it because of poverty,” said Lonyangapuo.
Lonyangapuo cited that the County Government will employ 4 physical therapy officers to help in the corrective surgery.
The County first lady Dr. Mary Lonyangapuo called on parents in the area to bring the affected children and utilize the free chance citing that many who need help are still at home. “They should not keep them at home. We want them to stay a normal life and go to school. We want doctors to identify disabled children at birth because it is easy to help them when they are still young,” she said.