Perceptions and treatment of children with cerebral palsy among the Tonga of Binga in Zimbabwe
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background: While disability is universal, there is a marked variation in caregivers’ experiences of caring for children with disabilities. Therefore the diversity of disability experiences across the world needs to be acknowledged in order to understand care practices relative to disability. Aim: The paper explores the link between disability perceptions and treatment among the Tonga of Binga through their disabled children. Method: A total of 53 participants were enrolled in a longitudinal, qualitative and ethnographic study. Data was collected through in-depth interviews, participant observation and focus group discussions. The primary researcher returned to the field over time to explore changes and the processes associated with these changes from 2005 to 2013. Data analysis: Thematic analysis was conducted to discern recurring patterns within the data. Results: The results showed both positive and negative attitudes and behaviour towards children with disabilities; and the complexities of these influenced by their historical background, life experiences, social, cultural and economic factors. Policy consideration: Local cultural knowledge for policy designing and implementation.