The National Gender and Equality Commission plans to work with national, county based and International partners to develop standards for the implementation of policies for the progressive realization of the economic and social rights (ECOSOC) specified in Article 43 of the Constitution.
Commission Chairperson Winfred Lichuma, noted that for effective monitoring of the implementation of the ECOSOC rights, governments and countries need minimum standards and targets that all stakeholders including communities understand to evaluate progress made in their realization. The revelations came to the fore during an intensive five day sensitization programme on sustainable mechanisms for improving equity in access to health services supported by the Commission and spearheaded by the Association of Persons with Dwarfism. The program in addition featured free medical clinics in Murang’a, Uasin Gishu and Nairobi Counties targeting general populations but with focus to Short People of Kenya.
In Murang’a County, the Association of Persons with Dwarfism flanked by senior NGEC team and Doctors from John Hopkins university hospital in Baltimore Maryland and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Canada visited the County government and held high level consultations with the County Executive Committee Member for Health Dr. Susan Magada.
During the meeting Dr. Magada expressed the County government’s commitment to pursue measures and policies aimed at mainstreaming issues of special interest groups especially persons with disabilities in the health sector. She thanked the Commission for facilitating trainings for County secretaries on inclusion and equality in devolved governments and issuance of advisories on mental health
In Eldoret, Chairperson Winfred Lichuma led the team to a high level consultative meeting with County Health sector heads. Later Mrs. Lichuma addressed a joint press conference with the Association of Persons with Dwarfism calling for increased attention to prevention of deformities among children including short stature through timely genetic counselling, studies and medical care.
Mrs. Lichuma praised the Association for demonstrating leadership saying it had raised the profile and challenges faced by persons with Dwarfism to such a high level that positive results and feedback in terms of their empowerment were being witnessed. “For the first time, we have seen the National Youth Service recruiting and training people with short stature, a progressive feat previously unimaginable.” said Lichuma. She called upon county governments to allocate adequate resources to increase equity and inclusion in access and utilization of health services particularly among most vulnerable populations.
The programme concluded on a high note at a special dinner organized at a Nairobi Hotel by NGEC and National Council for Persons with Disabilities in honour of the Association of Persons with Dwarfism and visiting Doctors from Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, andChildren’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Canada who pledged to support exchange programmes for Kenyan students wishing to study genetics so as to equip them with knowledge to make early diagnosis on treatable orthopedic disabilities.
The Principle Secretary in Charge of Interior Coordination Josephta Oyiela Mukobe in a keynote addresse expressed the government’s commitment to mainstreaming issues of persons with short stature and other disabilities in the development agenda. She praised the Commission for supporting such interventions seeking to prevent deformities among children and reduce number of persons suffering dwarfism.