Government urged to promote early screening for deaf blindness

By Alice Lubwama

International organization working for deaf blind people, sense international Uganda is calling upon Government to embark on the program they introduced that promotes early screening and early intervention for children living with deaf blindness.

The organization working with the ministry of health and the Uganda Virus Research Institute started the program as a pilot project in wakiso district four years ago to identify children living with the problem and work on rehabilitating them.

The country director Sense International Uganda, Chris Yiga noted that as they interacted with the communities, they realized that there are many people living with deaf blindness but identifying and providing them with specialized support is still a big problem because no one is paying attention to them.

The organization wants Government to allocate money for maintaining the hearing and sight testing machines in Kasangati Health Centre IV and Entebbe referral hospital on top of the occupational therapist.

Muwonge Tom, councilor Kasangati town council and chairperson health committee Wakiso district commended Sense International for the job well done in screening a number of children in this area and training the staff at the health centers on how to handle children living with deaf blindness.

Muwonge promised that his committee of health will take up the matter to the district council to ensure that the proagram continues.

Dr Paul kabazi kaweesi in charge of kasangati health centre , said that many of the children who are presenting with deaf blindness in early child hood had their mothers infected with rubella.

Kabazi said that only last year his centre screened over 50 children with deaf blindness.

He calls for the sensitization of all pregnant mothers to screen for rubella and ask those who have not got been vaccinated to to receive it since deaf blindness is associated with this virus.

Parents asked to support children with deaf blindness

By Alice Lubwama

People living with deaf blindness are asking parents not to neglect their children living with this disability, saying if well supported and educated can be useful like normal children.

Abukitto Agnes the treasurer National association of the deaf blind in Uganda says if the parents appreciate children with the disability and support them to be educate them, they will be able to leave on their own without over depending on them.

Abukitto further asked parents to give their disabled children the necessary guidance and love them so that the communities around them can appreciate them.

She says that if a child with this disability is educated, it will be easier for him or her to contribute to impact society positively without necessarily depending on the parents.

She adds that because her parents appreciated her and took her to school, she has been able to move from one to another, reaching places where even people without disabilities have not reached.

Abukitto says that she can now participate in community activities without being discriminated.