THE SITUATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY.
The August 2002 Population and Housing Census carried aquestion on disability.The official results are not yet known.However,according to World Health Organization's formular of 1 in 10 being persons with disabilities,Tanzania with the population (2002) of 34,569,232 is estimated to have 3,346,900 people with disabilities distributed as follows:
-Physical impaired 28967932
-Visually impaired 27933363
-Hearing impaired 20691380
-Intellectually impaired 8276552
-Multiply impaired 4138276
Globalization,indebtness and changes in the world economic order has greatly affected the social and economic life of the majority of people.In Tanzania the unfavourable economic situation has affected the availability of such services as health,education, and employment opportunities.The most affected however are people with disabilities particulary in the following areas:
Despite the efforts to prioritize immunization to children,health services are by and large inaccessible to the majority of people particulary to people with disabilities.
Most disabilities result from,among others poor health conditions,lack of immunization against disabling diseases and inadequate care of expecting mothers.Diseases of expecting mothers and birth complications may cause disabling conditions to the mother or the child.Mother and child health programmes greatly reduce the incidence of disability in the community.Widespread poverty amongst disabled people and their families limit them from from accessing required technical aids which would assist them to easily reach health facilities.As a result the majorty of people with disability particulary in the rural areas are unable to access health services.
2. EARLY INTERVENTION
There is a need for early identification of children with disabilities.Early identificaton followed by appropriate intervention has a chance of eliminating occurence of disability or minimizing its impact later in life.Ufortunately Tanzania does not have a national programme for early intervention which would have assisted the identification of children with disabilities in their respective communities.The fact that parents still hide their children with disabilities pushes them further away from accessing appropiate services.
3. MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Various social and economic hardships are known to have caused mental health problems to sizeable number of people.Apparently the life situation of the sufferers is dangerious to themselves and those arround them.Besides no agency seems to be responsible for their identification treatment and care.
4. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES and HIV/AIDS
People with disabilities have similar sexual desire as the non-disabled and are equally affected by pandemic.Unfortunately awareness campagns against thespread of diseases exclude disabled persons.Most disabled persons are poor and have little education to enable them access information on HIV/AIDS.The available campagns against the desease are not disability freandly,for example all written information is in ordinary print and non in Braille for the visual impaired.Likewise spoken information is not simultenously translated into sign language for the benefit of hearing impaired.Lack of technical aids generally is a drawback to most people with disabilities as it limits their chances of accessing infomation on HIV/AIDS and thus being more prone to infection for the lack of knowledge.
Society's prejudice against children with disabilities is known to have psychologically affected their ability to realistically cope with their environment.Much as education is essential for the development of a child's potentialities,some parents still pereive children with disabilities as burden and opt not to send them to school.
Education system in the country does not allow for equal access for children with disabilities.Almost all school facilities at all levels are inaccessible.Teacher education and school curriculum as wel do not incorporate the needs of disabled persons.As aresult of the above children with disabilities enrolled for primary one is less than one percent.This figure is lower in secondary schools and higher learning institutions.
6. SKILLS TRAINING
Acquisition of skills is an important pre requisite in the life of a person with disability.Skills leads to employment and therefore,self-sufficiency and and independent living.Despite this reality most skills training facilities are inaccessible to people with disabilities.In addition cost sharing policy limits the majority of would be trainees who cannot afford the same.Skills training institutions for people with disabilities lack the capacity to train competent individuals who can compete in the open labour market.
The members and churches were able to donate and successfully bought 20 acres of land and established the environment for consrtuction,Helisea volunteer are ready in the site to Helisea's dream come true''We are happy that in the near by future we will have much more experience even if we face a lot of problems now.
The constructors have now designed classrooms and domotories according to the piece of land we have, it is a very hard work when we have just volunteers who are not so much experienced.However Helisea welcomes volunteers of all nationalities,religion,races and creeds and is open to different levels of skills and experience in variety of fields including(but not limited)social work,counselling,nursing,HIV awareness,education curriculum development treining,reserch and communication.We also need help in fundrising to help us prepare and launch campaigns to rise fund for our construction site located at Hedaru village and volunteers for fundrising events.