Nurturing care for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities: A cross-sectional descriptive study in a rural setting in Kenya

November 15, 2022

Silas Onyango, Margaret Nampijja, Nelson Langat & Patricia Wekulo

Background: Neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDDs) are a significant cause of poor development in children and a major public health concern in many sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Nurturing care has been recommended as a pathway for addressing developmental needs and unlocking the full potential of children with NDDs. However, proper strategies for the provision of appropriate care to children with NDDs are limited in most of these low-resourced settings.

Objectives: We seek to establish the prevalence and types of NDDs among children aged 0 – 5 years in the study location. Also, we will identify the current caregiving practices and nurturing care gaps for children NDDs in Kenya. In addition, we aim to identify key determinants/drivers of the care and to understand the experiences of the caregivers/parents of children with NDDs in relation to nurturing care practices including access to health care and provide key suggestions for improvements.

Methods: We propose an analytic cross-sectional study in a Siaya County in Western Kenya. A  mixed methods approach combining a scoping review, quantitative survey, qualitative study, and records review will be utilized. Scoping review will inform the design of the study and the tools while record review will provide insights on the type and  nature of the disabilities. A total of 184 caregivers and their children will be recruited and interviewed.

Significance: Our findings will significantly inform appropriate interventions or practices that inform policy on nurturing care for children with NDDs. This will also ensure that children living with disabilities in low-resourced settings receive the nurturing care they need to survive and develop to their full potential.