Published by mesfin-taye

Patient story: Almaz

A chronic disability can quickly turn celebration into mourning, turn daughters into servants, and can shroud proud parents in shame.

Nine-year-old Almaz Sahelu was born in Gurage region in Ethiopia, in Cheza village. She is the third born for her family.

Almaz was born with clubfeet. Her parents were devastated when they saw the condition of their daughter; they only blamed themselves. Her father, Sahilu, thought that his daughter’s legs were twisted because of his and his wife’s sin. He was overcome with guilt and said, “We were ashamed (to show our daughter to) our neighbors because they would consider us sinners and cursed people by God. We feared becoming outcasts from our villagers. We showed her condition to only close family members.” Read the rest of this entry »


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Insights on Physical Disability in Ethiopia

Traditionally, Ethiopian society’s perceptions of disability have stemmed from the religious and social backgrounds of the community. In most regions of the country, families with disabled children are considered to be punished as a consequence of the anger of the village witch doctor or an ancestral spirit. The community, without considering the impact on its members, displays humiliating and disabling attitudes toward people who have a disability.

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