Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa); Brain and Mind Institute


The World Health Organization (WHO) defines disability as an umbrella term that covers impairments, activity limitations, and restrictions in participation (1). Disability is not considered a health problem, but rather an interaction between a person’s body functions and features of the environments in which they live (1). WHO report a higher prevalence of severe and moderate disabilities in Africa compared to other regions (1). The United Nations Children’s Fund (2021) provides a global estimate of 230 million children, ages 0–17 years, living with a disability with 28.9 million children found in Eastern and Southern Africa (2). More than half of these children live in rural settings and only about one third attend a primary school (1). Given the high birth rate of 22.6 births per 1,000 people in East Africa, and successful implementation of interventions that have significantly reduced the under-5 mortality rate in this region, the prevalence of childhood disability can only increase over time (3, 4). This is a pertinent current and future issue given that the estimated likelihood of a child having a disability before their fifth birthday is 10 times higher than the likelihood of dying (377.2 vs. 38.2 per 1,000 live births)

Publication ( Name of Journal)

Frontiers in Public Health

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.