Opportunities and challenges faced by women with physical disabilities in accessing and utilizing public health services in Nairobi City County
This was a qualitative and quantitative study on opportunities and challenges faced by women with physical disabilities in accessing and utilizing public health services in Nairobi City County. The study sought to describe the difficulties encountered by women with physical disabilities while seeking healthcare services at public hospitals. It was guided by the critical disability theory which analyzed disability issues and viewed the problems of disability explicitly as the product of unequal society. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and observation. Analysis was done through thematic approach. The study findings suggest that the research subjects encounter several challenges as they approach public facilities for healthcare services. These challenges include lack of proper health facilities, poor infrastructure and insensitive medical personnel to concerns of PWDs. The findings also indicate that the main opportunities available for women with physical disabilities in accessing and utilizing services offered at public hospitals would be the building of more ramps, provision of wheelchairs, and provision of low beds. Other issues have to do with free medication, non-slippery floors and establishment of special wings for WWPDs. On the basis of these findings, the study concludes that lack of proper health facilities in public hospitals negatively affects women with physical disabilities in Nairobi City County. It is, therefore recommended that the administration in public hospitals should ensure facilities such as low beds and low toilets; special units for women with physical disabilities; ramps and floors that are adapted to disability; widen corridors and doorways and give priority services to the WWPDs in the public hospitals.