Study: Mothers under pressure to kill their children

Parents are under enormous pressure to kill children with disabilities, a study has shown.

According to the study conducted by Disability Rights International (DRI) and Kenyan Association for the Intellectually Handicapped (KAIH), 37 per cent of the women surveyed from Nairobi said they were pressured to kill their disabled children.

Fifty-four per cent of women from rural areas felt pressure to kill their children while 63 per cent of all the women surveyed stated that they were told their childrenwere ‘cursed’.

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This is due to doctors hiding information from the mothers about their children’s special needs, as well as stigma from the community and lack of counselling.

Many mothers surveyed told DRI that they left the hospitals without being told their children had a disability.

“Mothers complained that doctors and nurses don’t want to treat them or their disabled children. Mothers are often sent home without any information or care plans as doctors feel children with disabilities are not worth it,” the report read in part.

The study, whose findings were released yesterday, was conducted over the last two years and showed that 93 per cent of the mothers interviewed found out about their children’s disabilities on their own.

“This is when the parent cannot see any milestones in the growth of the child and then they become worried,” said Fatma Wangare, a director with KAIH.

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Disability Rights InternationalDRIChildren with Disabilities