Profile of disability in selected districts in Rwanda

  • G Urimubenshi
  • JB Sagahutu
  • A Kumurenzi
  • A Nuhu
  • D Tumusiime
  • J Kagwiza
Keywords: disability, prevalence, ICF, Rwanda


Disability prevalence data are important to improve efforts to remove or minimize disabling barriers and provide services to allow people with disabilities to take part in community life. There is however a lack of reliable data on disability in the districts of Rwanda.

This study aims to describe the profile of disability in terms of prevalence, age, gender distribution as well as activity limitation in Rwanda.

A door-to-door survey was conducted in all the households in villages from three districts selected through a multi-stage sampling procedure. Identified persons were assessed for activity limitations using instruments developed from domains in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Data were analysed descriptively and presented by district, age, gender, and activity limitation.

Disability prevalence rates of 10.1% (Ruhango), 9.1% (Kayonza), and 6.0% (Nyagatare) were obtained. An overall average prevalence of disability in the three districts was 8.3%. The prevalence of disability was higher in adults than in children in all the three districts with Ruhango having 13.6% vs 7.0%; Kayonza,12.4% vs 6.4%; and Nyagatare, 8.9% vs 2.8%. The main activity limitations experienced by children with disability were sitting, seeing, and crawling, while adults with disabilities had difficulties mainly in seeing and walking.

Persons identified with disability in this study from three districts in Rwanda have various activity limitations. The findings provide a useful resource for planning rehabilitation services and to direct future enquiry into the epidemiology of disability in other districts of Rwanda.

Keywords: disability, prevalence, ICF, Rwanda


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eISSN: 2141-8322