DAA News Network

SENEGAL: Disabled children face stigma and abandonment

Posted 15/8-10 at 16.02

In Senegal many women refuse to take disabled children on public transport, families hide disabled children, and some parents disown them outright.

According to Ibrahim Gueye, the father of a child with severe learning difficulty, "In Senegalese society it is quite difficult to have a child with a mental disorder. The prevailing belief is that it is a curse; it is difficult to get family and friends to accept such a child."

Another common belief is that the mother was unfaithful in themarriage, and a child with such a condition is a punishment fromGod.

Astou Ndong is raising two sons alone because her husband left  when Abdoulaye, who has epilepsy and is now 11, was born. "[The father] was ashamed of Abdoulaye and told me to go to the village with him so we could hide the child", she said. "But I didn't want to. I love my child, I want to help him, and I knew that for school and health care he would be better off here in the city."



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