Disability in Nigeria: An Holistic Approach

Disability in Nigeria is a struggle, especially regarding the stigmatism, discrimination, and judgment they must endure and go through constantly. Due to this fact, Parents of disabled children try as much as possible to keep them caged away from society’s judgments. Furthermore, some people have tried to place different reasons why a person shouldn’t be seen with these sets of people, which is barbaric.

Disability in Nigeria

It is not news that people with disabilities might undergo negative behaviors from friends, families, and even at the societal levels. Our society often calls disabled individuals names and tags stories as to why they are built like that relating to religions, cultural beliefs, and misconceptions about the family background. These behaviors answer in rejection, hate, loss of self-worth and self-respect, and depression. Unfortunately, this discrimination comes from not only societies but also formal systems such as the educational system, the healthcare system, and other social systems, which are not expected from them.

Recent Studies on “Disability in Nigeria.”

Studies regarding Disability in Nigeria in recent years are recorded; In 2011, 25 million people in Nigeria were recorded suffering from one Disability or the other. In 2006 when the Nigeria census was held, about 3.2 million people were registered with disabilities, taking about 2% of the population. Also, in 2020, it is said that the number of people with disabilities in Nigeria increased drastically.

However, According to the “Centre for Citizens with Disabilities,” claimed in 2011 that the census didn’t record the exact number of people dealing with Disability in Nigeria.

Main Causes of Disability

Most people are born disabled; some got it through accidents and diseases, while some got it through some of these causes;

• Malnutrition

Malnutrition is one of the leading causes of disability. One of the main causes of malnutrition is poverty, which is part of the biggest disability problems. People suffering from poverty are mostly the ones affected because they have little to no choice regarding unhealthy work environments, poor living conditions, no education, little to no clean water, or no adequate good food. Without the adequacy of these things, diseases tend to strive and live healthily in their body which in turn causes disability.

Most children born into this condition barely survive and die; the ones who survive tend to grow with long overdue diseases such as tuberculosis and polio.

• Violence

Violence is part of an ample cause of disability. Violence causes explosions, gunshots, and so on. Over time, it has been said and recorded that explosion causes deafness, blindness, and other fatal injuries that can lead to disabilities in Nigerians. During the violence, there is loss of lives, schools, hospitals, and most significantly, the means of livelihood of people, and these wars automatically increase poverty, which leads to sickness and disability and, in the long run, death.

• Limited Accessibility to healthcare

In Nigeria, where there are healthcare services but limited gadgets, Nigeria can’t rule out disability. Good healthcare services can help avoid a lot of disabilities and sicknesses. Many things can cause disabilities in the health system that could have been stopped, such as difficulty in laboring and diseases that need vaccination to be cured. Still, the healthcare system has no provisions for most of these things. 

• Inherited sickness

Some disabilities are known to be gotten from within the family, mostly the disease of muscles and nerves. But most disability is not inherited but obtained through either accidents or unfortunate incidents.

Most Common Types of Disability

There are different types of Disability in Nigeria, but we will look at the most common ones.

• Visual Impairment

Visual Impairment is one of the most common disabilities you can notice in Nigerians. Visual impairments are defined as the loss of sight, it could be total blindness or partial loss of sight. And these are caused mainly by uncorrected errors due to inaccessibility to health services and poverty.

• Hearing Disability

 In a study, it is written that 8.5 million Nigerians are suffering from this type of disability. People lose their ability to hear through gunshots in violence and war, the use of loud gadgets, noise pollution, and the use of hard drugs.

• Physical Disability

Physical disability can be categorized into the impairments of limbs and muscles. Some of these disabilities are Cerebral Palsy(these affect the ability to move) and spinal cord accidents( these most times cause permanent mobility function). There are different causes of this disability, and it could be either from birth or through injuries or accidents.

• Communication Disability

Communication disability is the inability to process information, such as sending and receiving. It is also the inability to speak fluently, caused mainly by brain injury.

How Disability Can Be Controlled in Nigeria

Through the changes that happen in the country, Disability can be greatly coped with or reduced. Such as:

• Reduction of Violence

We all believe that violence cannot be coped with once; it has to be a gradual process and government intervention. Through the intervention, peace with ethnicity might be solved, state wars could be brought to an end, and peace will reign, which in turn will make people live peacefully.

• Provision of good health services

Nigeria’s health services are not the most effective health services that could be enough for citizens. Treating citizens at the right time will so much reduce disability.

• Check-ups

Going for health check-ups regularly will solve a whole lot of health issues, especially disabilities.


Disability is not an infection that people should be stigmatized from, it is no news that Nigerians can form a whole lot of false stories out of nothing. However, we as a society can play our part in making disabled people feel comfortable as we deserve.

Babayemi Oluwatofunmi Racheal

Babayemi Oluwatofunmi Racheal is a content writer who a writes on games and all other niches. She is also an Instagram content writer who writes relatable content, book reviews and make people see life in her own thoughts.