03 October 2019, Nairobi, Kenya – Press statement expressing shock and concern after
an expose’ titled ‘Sins of Saviours’ that was aired on NTV on the 1st of October 2019.
We at the Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya (CPSK) would like to express our deepest
shock and disappointment after the expose’ on the Children’s Welfare Society of Kenya
that was aired on NTV. It was to say the least heart breaking to watch how those
charged with the safety and health of innocent orphans living with disabilities endanger
the lives of helpless children suffering from various mental conditions. We watched in
agony as helpless orphans were man-handled and used as guinea pigs in a treatment
process that is not only illegal, abusive and potentially life threatening.
As CPSK we demand that the relevant authorities, namely Kenya Medical Practitioners
and Dentists Council, Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the National Police Service ramp
up efforts in investigating all groups, associations and societies that are charged with
care of the less fortunate, helpless and especially children and persons with disabilities
in our society who are prone to fall prey to unscrupulous practices. It would be prudent
that all these institutions are vetted anew as concerns best practice, products and any
It is of great concern to us that a number of the children who were featured in the
expose were patients with cerebral palsy. Research shows only 14% of the general
public are aware of Cerebral palsy, 4 out of 10 people are completely unaware of any
special school/ facility admitting children with cerebral palsy, and insurance companies
do not cover cerebral palsy. Caregivers are forced to dig deep into their pockets for
frequent therapy sessions. The cost of therapy is very high especially in private hospitals
who charge up to 3,000/= per session, government hospitals charge about 400/= and
private therapist charge about 1,500/=. In most cases, CP children require therapy thrice
a week. The huge cost of medicine such as to control convulsions or boost immunity can
be up to 20,000/= a week depending on severity of the condition, while wheel chairs
and related equipment cost between 6,000 – 40,000/=.
We call upon the government to step up efforts in ensuring persons and children with
disabilities are protected through policy and ‘watch-dog’ entities that ensure safety and
quality health care for such as these. We beseech policy makers and disabled people
organizations to speed up efforts to ensure persons with disabilities have access to
affordable and quality healthcare. We call upon the general public to engage in
discussions and activities that concern persons with disabilities; let us as a whole aim to
put an end to ignorance and create a stigma free community, by ensuring the
understanding of disabilities. We as Kenyans need to create cultural change so that
everyone in the society embraces persons with disabilities, and that every child/person
is accepted in the society.
As the Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya we offer support services through the provision
of therapy, promotion of awareness and advocacy of appropriate measures to improve
the welfare of persons afflicted by Cerebral palsy in Kenya. We ensure that persons
afflicted by cerebral palsy in Kenya are rehabilitated to enable them realize their full
We also offer useful advice, support and training to parents/guardians/ caregivers and
the community at large. The CPSK clinic offers occupational therapy at the clinic for
children under the age of 6. It also has health riders who provide therapy for the older
children and adults living with CP. CPSK Special School offers Special Needs Education
and music therapy for children and persons living with Cerebral Palsy. The school
currently has an admission of 45 learners.
Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya or CPSK is a charitable organization working towards
the improvement of the welfare of children and persons afflicted by CP in the Country.
The Society was formed in 1994 by parents and guardians of these children and has
remained steadfast in its endeavor to enable as many children as possible live more
fulfilling lives. We are working to ensure that government officials at the local, regional
and national level move beyond passing proclamations, and take concrete action to
guarantee that our basic rights, our full citizenship and our individual opportunities are
real and cannot be taken away.
We would like to applaud the media fraternity especially NTV Kenya for exposing a
deadly situation that would have seen many children gravely affected or worse. We hail
your efforts as the media in creating awareness and informing the general public of the
ills in our society.
FACTS ON CEREBRAL PALSY IN KENYA
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a problem that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills.
It hinders the body’s ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way. CP often is
caused by brain damage that happens before or during a baby’s birth, or during the first
3-to-5 years of a child’s life. Generally speaking, the common causes of CP are asphyxia
neonatorum or a lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery, gene mutations
that result in abnormal brain development, severe jaundice in the infant, maternal
infections, such as german measles and herpes simplex and brain infections such as
encephalitis and meningitis.
It is estimated that three out of 1000 births have CP. In Kenya, the government offers a
meagre KSh2000 cash transfer stipend per child per month but it is never regular. This
inadequacy has meant that the general public join in by participating in CPSK activities,
volunteer their services, make monthly or annual individual donation. CPSK is a
champion towards this end.