Changes to everyday-life after surgery- Experiences of caregivers of children with disabilities in rural Kenya
Markkanen, Janne; Tapaninen, Paula (2019)
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Disability is a complex phenomenon. Children with disabilities face several obstacles in everyday life. Due to disability, they can face discrimination and exclusion from school and health care services. The disability of the child affects the entire family and therefore these families are more vulnerable to poverty and even exclusion from community. Global pediatric surgeries are performed in low- and middle-income countries like Kenya and these surgeries are proven to be cost-efficient. To our knowledge, the impacts of pediatric surgeries on everyday life of CWDs has not been studied before using qualitative methods. Our partner organization in this thesis was ADRA Finland Foundation, which is a development and relief organization working in different parts of the world. The aim of the thesis was to describe the impact of pediatric surgery on disabled child’s and family’s everydaylife in rural Kenya. The research method was qualitative, and it was conducted by interviewing caregivers of children with disabilities who have undergone a pediatric surgery performed by a volunteer surgical team by AFF. Inductive content analysis was used to analyze the re-search data. The inductive content analysis guided the classification of the content of this thesis. The research question emerged from available data: How have the everyday lives of children with disabilities changed after the pediatric surgery? The results indicate that children and their families mainly benefited from the surgeries. Physical health improved, children’s participation in daily activities increased, they were more socially accepted and their psychosocial well-being improved. Couple of postsurgical relapses occurred and few children needed new referral. For further research it would be vital to develop different ways to provide sustainable surgical care to CWDs and ensure the continuum of the care provided.