Editor's note: Across Kenya, millions of mentally disabled people are hidden away: locked up and forgotten, often by families who can't get them proper treatment.
By David McKenzie and Ingrid Formanek, CNN, February 25, 2011:
Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- The tin shack looks like any other in a patch of small plots on the dusty outskirts of Nairobi. It's the haunting sound that grabs you, the awful moaning and cries coming from within.
It's Thomas Matoke's home. But it's more like a cell. Matoke, 33, is tied to a steel bedframe with a piece of blue rope. He's surrounded by pools of his urine, his mattress soiled and ripped to shreds.
His moans are interrupted when he chews his hand or the bedframe. He can't speak to tell his mother what he wants or feels. He's alone in his world of screams and agony.
He's been like this for 30 years.
Matoke got ill when he was a toddler and lost much of his high-level functioning. So his mother ties him up to prevent him from running away or hurting himself.
Countless trips to doctors and hospitals haven't helped him. And poverty means there isn't much medical help his family can afford. Read more>>