Museveni calls for national strategy to prevent disabilities

President Museveni addressing about 300 leaders of People with Disabilities (PWDs) from eastern and central region, who have been attending a one-week retreat at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi on October 4, 2022. PHOTO/ PPU 

What you need to know:

  • Ms Mbabazi Violet, a female councilor for PWDs in Kassanda District, who spoke on behalf of other participants, thanked the President for the opportunity to be skilled at NALI

President Museveni has directed the Minister of State for Disability to draft a Cabinet paper, indicating a strategy on prevention and management of disabilities in Uganda.
According to the President, his government has demonstrated that disability can be prevented by getting rid of diseases such as polio and measles.

“We should prevent fresh disability to the maximum because much of it is preventable. We should manage and prevent it where possible,” Mr Museveni said.
The President made the call yesterday while addressing about 300 leaders of People with Disabilities (PWDs) from eastern and central region, who have been attending a one-week retreat at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi. 

He noted that some of disability-causing diseases such as Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, and Cerebral palsy are detectable and preventable at early stages while conditions such as autism, Down syndrome and Deaf-blindness that are not easily detected can be managed.
The President urged the National Council for Persons With Disabilities to work closely with the Ministry of Health to minimise the causes of disabilities. 

“The National Council for Disability should not just confine itself with managing our people who are already disabled. It should also work with the Ministry of Health to prevent and educate our mothers and all of us to know what to do in order to avoid new disability cases,” he said, adding that those who are already disabled will be looked after well and given opportunities because many of them can perform.
Statistics from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics Census Report for 2016 indicate that 12.4 percent (about 4.5 million) of the Ugandan population has some form of disability.

 “Don’t say because disability doesn’t mean inability, therefore, the tribe should increase; no!. Now you can imagine if we had not intervened against Polio and Measles, what would be the numbers now? Many of the polio people are the UPC people (the ones who got polio under UPC government) but my own grandchildren I doubt very much that there are many Polio victims,” Mr Museveni said.
The State Minister for Disability, Ms Grace Asamo, thanked the President for supporting PWDs.

“Majority are still in shock, for they cannot believe that someone at a level of a Head of State can prioritise a person with disability whom society had otherwise condemned as a curse. Your Excellency, this is the first time of its kind that we come here and we pray that it is not the last of its kind,” Minister Asamo said, adding that another group from western and northern Uganda will also receive the training later this year.

She proposed to the NRM party to have the retreat carried out annually for people with disabilities. 
Ms Mbabazi Violet, a female councilor for PWDs in Kassanda District, who spoke on behalf of other participants, thanked the President for the opportunity to be skilled at NALI.
“You know we don’t have any other parent other than you. We’re your children and we’re speaking NRM. We confirm that we’re behind you,” Ms Mbabazi said.

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