Linking people with disability to health services
Monica Wambui, a 37-year-old deaf woman from Nakuru in Kenya, has found a new cause. The 37-year-old mother of four, three boys and a girl, wants to be a trainer so that she can teach people with hearing disability about HIV and AIDS and other issues that affect them. Wambui was among more than 40 people with disability who attended a workshop organized by the USAID-funded APHIAplus Nuru ya Bonde project in Nakuru.
“I have attended many meetings to discuss HIV/AIDS but this one is different,” Monica said through the interpreter, Eddy Ingutia Mandila. “In this workshop the methods were different. I was happy to get explanations from people with disabilities like myself."
Wambui said she especially liked the session on gender issues.
The project works closely with the Kenyan organization LVCT and Kenya's National Council for Persons with Disability to identify and train local champions to mobilize people with disability to seek to know their HIV status.
During the Nakuru meeting, eight participants volunteered to be counseled and tested for HIV. They were given their results and linked to appropriate care and support. Some participants received information materials in sign language.
Paul Ole Sopia, Chairman of Narok Disabled Integrated Program reports that people with disability had been empowered by the training provided by APHIAplus Nuru ya Bonde.
“They appreciated the information and demonstrations on condom use and family planning methods,” he says. “For many of them it was the first time to be trained.”
APHIAplus Nuru ya Bonde works with the government and diverse partners to improve the quality of life for Kenya’s most vulnerable people including people with disability, women and children as well as individuals and families affected by HIV.