‘Raising our Voices': The perspectives of stakeholders on the challenges present within the service provision towards disabled children in Kabarole district, Uganda, and their suggestions for improvement
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The service provision towards disabled children in the global south is often far from optimal. Despite the fact that when a child has a disability, the health and welfare system around the child should be strengthened so that it is possible for the child to live a life as similar to children without a disability as possible. This case study aimed to gain an understanding of the perspectives of the stakeholders on these challenges that are experienced when providing services towards disabled children within the setting of Kabarole district, Uganda. As well as suggestions from the stakeholders on how these challenges could be addressed. To collect these challenges and suggestions for improvement, 15 semi-structured interviews have been conducted in the fall of 2017. These interviews were held among the various stakeholders, and included parents of disabled children, workers from community-based organizations, rehabilitation center. Two focus groups were organized afterwards which focused on sharing results from the interviews, gathering extra information on the challenges and suggestion on how to address the challenges Eight main challenges were identified in the data; stigma surrounding disability, a knowledge gap about what disability entails among the stakeholders, lack of transparency which stakeholder is providing which services, inefficient use of resources due to overlap within the service provision, challenging communication and collaboration between the stakeholders, limited resources available to provide every disabled child in the district with those services that they need, missing a coordinating body due to low engagement from the local government in Kabarole district and cultural differences between Ugandan and ‘Western’ stakeholders leading to friction. These different challenges are interacting with one another and can in many cases be seen as either a cause or a consequence of one of the other challenges. To address these challenges, the stakeholders suggested to focus on creating awareness about disability and to improve the coordination and collaboration between the stakeholders The discussion showed that the use of programs and approaches such as community-based rehabilitation and inter-organizational relations could be beneficial to organize the service provision in a locally efficient manner where as many disabled children as possible are benefitting from the services provided by the various stakeholders.
Master i International Social Welfare and Health Policy