By Azania Post Reporter
TANZANIA will soon start a census to get actual number of people with disability in order to easy access of services to them , it has learnt.
Speaking to Azania Post the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled, Jenista Mhagama she had directed her officials to conduct the census.
“We want to get actual number of people with disability , this will easier provision of services to them , “said Minister Mhagama after she visited an albino who was attacked by unknown people in Morogoro region.
She said that people with disabilities can play a constructive role and make a significant contribution to the development process of Tanzania.
However it was not established as to when the exercise will commence or total costs involved but it is estimated that 2 percent of Tanzanian population are disabled persons.
According to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the proportion of persons with disability was higher among males (2.2 percent) than females (1.7 percent).
The common disabilities were leprosy/physically handicapped (47.9 percent), mentally handicapped (16.3 percent), multiple handicapped (13.3 percent) and dumb/hearing impaired (13.1 percent).
The number of disabled persons recorded in the 2003 census was 676,502, or 2.0 percent of the total population.
Corresponding prevalence rates in selected countries are Nigeria (0.5%), Sudan (1.6%), Uganda (1.2%), and Zambia (0.9%). However, some other African countries have recorded higher rates, for example, Namibia (5%), South Africa (5.9%), Ethiopia (3.8%), probably due to liberation wars and internal conflicts, which were common in the previous years in those countries.
People with physical impairments have the largest proportion (47.9%), followed by the intellectually impaired (16.3%), and multiple impaired (13.3%). The albinos have the lowest proportion (1.0%).
Experts say because of limitations imposed by disability very few disabled persons are married. Communities have negative attitude towards this affair. Disability is taken to be a barrier of not allowing the person with disability to get married.
Many people still believe that persons with disabilities once married will have offspring with disabilities. It is also believed that a husband as a leader of the household he cannot manage it effectively.
On the other hand, a wife with disability is believed to be incapable to serve her children, husband and his relatives very effectively. People with disabilities have the right to get married and the society must realize that disability is not inability.
The extent to which this social formation influences fertility is gradually losing its power as many people with disability do have children out of wedlock or opt not to have children even through married.
Despite the government’s efforts to support primary education, 98% of disabled children remain shut out of school.