Kajiado: Persons with hearing impairment take stock of progress, challenges facing them

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 4 Mar, 2024 10:09 | 2 mins read
Residents of Magadi division along with persons with hearing impairment hold a procession at Tata Chemicals grounds to commemorate World Hearing Day. PHOTO/Christine Musa

Persons with hearing impairment in Kajiado County are still facing discrimination owing to traditional misconceptions that the disability is a curse.

This has emerged during the marking of World Hearing Day celebrations commemorated at Magadi on Sunday, March 3, 2024.

Under the theme, Ear and Hearing Care for all, tens of persons with hearing impairment within the Magadi division took stock of the progress and challenges facing them.

Stigma and discrimination among those with hearing impairment by some community members were said to be the major challenge facing the deaf.

Residents of Magadi division along with persons with hearing impairment hold a procession at Tata Chemicals grounds to commemorate World Hearing Day amid concerns over stigma informed by traditional misconceptions. PHOTO/Christine Musa

"The community believes that when one is born with a certain disability he or she is cursed. I was not born deaf, my hearing impairment developed gradually after developing some severe infection that turned me deaf. It has not been an easy journey because of discrimination occasioned by traditional misconceptions," Nelly Salaash, a person living with hearing impairment, said.

Despite increased sensitization on the need of the community to embrace the partially deaf and the deaf, access to education is also a challenge due to the lack of specialized schools.

They said the lack of schools for the deaf has denied children access to education making them outcasts in a society that perceives them as cursed due to being too dependent.

Janet Salaash, one of the persons living with disability, keenly follows the World Hearing Day commemoration held at Tata Chemicals Magadi grounds. PHOTO /Christine Musa

Those who have managed to be enrolled in the deaf schools say the institutions are too expensive for any needy family to afford.

Local chiefs stated they have been at the forefront of involving Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) experts in community medical camps in order to tame evitable hearing impairment.

"Recently we intensified campaigns against discrimination against persons with hearing impairments. We learnt so much during such calendar events that enable us to sensitize the community on seeking available interventions at the expense of hiding survivors," Joseph Kayioni, Olkiramatian chief said.

The County Minister of Gender and Social Services Judy Pere said Kajiado County Assembly recently adopted a disability streaming act in an effort to create structured sensitization initiatives to curb the stigma she says is still rampant.

"Stigma among persons living with a disability is so rampant and we are taking one step at a time," Pere said.

Donating aiding devices is among measures the county and other development partners have been extending to those with hearing impairment.

World Hearing Day is commemorated every March 3.

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