KIGALI - A committee in the Ministry of Health charged with identifying ex-combatants eligible for disability support has released its report, indicating an increase in beneficiaries from 2,034 in 2008 to the present 2,534.
The five-member committee released the report yesterday in Kigali, pointing out that they urgently need more than 100 wheelchairs and 1,500 pairs of crutches.
Close to 10,000 ex-combatants were screened, but only 2,534 qualified among the four categories of persons with disabilities who are eligible for extra care and support.
“There was a big number of impostors, exaggerations and malingering . The ex-combatants would mimic a clinical condition or exaggerate a mild one to get onto the list of beneficiaries,” the committee chairman, Emmanuel Kagambirwa said.
The most common disabilities involved lower limbs at 18 percent and upper limbs at 17percent. Others were vision disorders, 15 percent, bone abnormalities 6 percent and psychiatric impairment which accounted for 5 percent.
A commissioner at the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, David Munyurangabo, said the commission will ensure the beneficiaries get the needed support.
“The commission is committed to supporting ex-combatants with disabilities,” Munyurangabo said. “Those who missed the screening for various reasons should reach out to our officials close to them to be connected to medical doctors.”
Kicukiro District has the highest number of ex-combatants followed by Gasabo, while Nyarugenge is ranked fourth nation-wide.
The concentration of the disabled ex-fighters in Kigali is attributed to the proximity of Kanombe Military Hospital.