JKUAT Supports Disability Mainstreaming in Kajiado County

Governor Kajiado County, H.E Joseph Ole Lenku tries out the JKUAT Wheelchair

In a bid to enhance accessibility and inclusivity for persons with disabilities, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in partnership with Motivation Charitable Trust and AIC Kajiado Centre took a proactive step by providing 37 wheelchairs to individuals in need in Kajiado County.

The initiative, part of JKUAT’s rural outreach program and the Rehabilitative Sciences curriculum, aligns with the principles of the Person-Centered Wheelchair Project, emphasizing the importance of proper assessment, prescription, and fitting of wheelchairs.

The outreach program, conducted on Thursday, February 22, and Friday, February 23, 2024 coincided with a significant event in Kajiado where the county held a ceremony to commemorate the assenting of the Disability Mainstreaming Bill by Governor Joseph Ole Lenku in January 2024.

This bill, the first of its kind in Kenya, signifies a commitment to integrating disability rights and accommodations into various aspects of governance and public services. Notably, it will support an annual fund of Kshs. 50 million which will support initiatives around persons with disabilities.

Hon. Ole Lenku lauded the collaboration between JKUAT and Kajiado County, describing it as a reflection of the desired concerted efforts to advance disability rights and accessibility initiatives. Through such partnerships and initiatives, he said, communities can work towards creating environments that are inclusive and supportive of all individuals, regardless of their abilities.

Dominic Kitili a JKUAT Wheelchair beneficiary from Kajiado County

“JKUAT, thank you for using your academic knowledge and skills to help the community. Indeed we all need to embrace the concept that a wheelchair is a prescription and not a donation. This I believe, is the only way we can advocate for appropriate wheelchairs,” stated Hon. Ole Lenku.

Dr Mwangi Matheri, Chairman Department of Rehabilitative Sciences at JKUAT explained the importance of personalized care and support for persons with disabilities emphasizing that wheelchairs should be distributed through a structured process involving assessment, prescription, and fitting, contrary to the donation route.

“JKUAT is proud to partner with Kajiado in our capacity as trainers and advocates for wheelchairs as a prescription device. As doctors, we have identified a model to train professionals in the rehabilitation space on how to assess and give appropriate wheelchairs,” said Dr Matheri.

According to Mr. Duncan Sakimpa, Manager AIC Kajiado Child Care Centre, the provision of wheelchairs by JKUAT not only addresses the immediate mobility needs of individuals with disabilities but also contributes to the broader goal of fostering inclusivity and empowerment.

Samson Sitoya, found immense joy as he received his new wheelchair—an upgrade from his previous malfunctioning device. He suffered spinal injuries following an accident in 2009 that rendered him disabled.  With the new wheelchair, he can now undertake his crops and livestock farming activities and earn a decent income.

Daniel Nkutiti, born with a spinal deformity, has relied on crutches throughout his life. However, receiving a wheelchair brought him immense gratitude, as it promises to alleviate the challenges he faced with mobility. Transitioning from crutches to a wheelchair not only relieves him from the discomfort of armpit pain and hand chafing but also enhances his ability to manage his business more efficiently.

The colorful, entertainment-filled Friday event was also attended by officials from Kajiado County, World Vision, Nondo, Kenya Red Cross, World Relief, International Labour Organization, among others.

JKUAT students assembling a wheelchair

Comments are closed.