Child Developmental Disabilities, Caregivers’ Role in Kenya and Its Implications on Global Migration

Jemaiyo Chabeda-Barthe, Timothy Wambua, Wangui Lydia Chege, Dan Hwaga, Timothy Gakuo and Gladys Chepkemoi Rotich - International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Background: This paper is a summary of the findings from an ethnographic study on child developmental disabilities conducted partly in Nairobi and Kiambu Counties in Kenya.

Methods: Quantitative and qualitative data collection methods were applied for the period between mid August and mid November 2018. The study was conducted through the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) situated in Nairobi County.

Results: There are parents who are willing to migrate in search of better education and healthcare options for their children who have developmental disabilities (DDs). However, there are also government reforms taking place in the field of disability that may help to support the caregiving role for children with special needs. The challenges, bargaining position and power play between parents or guardians and other actors implicated in the debates on inclusion and integration of persons with developmental disabilities in Kenya has been brought to the forefront.

Conclusions: In Kenya, more needs to be done to change the attitude towards disability from the medical and moral (religious/cultural) models to an approach leaning towards the social model, so that developmental disabilities are not viewed negatively.