It was an emotional moment for parents with children living Cerebral Palsy, as a Foundation primarily set up to provide quality care to cerebral palsy patients, The Straight Child Foundation, TSCF presented Wheelchairs, diapers, study tablets and other prizes to their children during the celebration of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.
Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is an initiative started in 2006 to strive for changes in education, healthcare and society more generally so that those living with this condition have better opportunities.
Cerebral Palsy is a neurological condition that affects muscles, movements, and mobility. It is the most common motor disability of childhood. Sufferers will have varying symptoms but their needs can be very profound with some unable to control movement, feed themselves or see and hear properly. The cause of Cerebral Palsy is not always known but it can happen if a baby’s brain does not develop normally during pregnancy or is damaged during or soon after birth.
Narrating her experience during the event which had the theme: “Improving the psychological well-being of the child living with Cerebral Palsy”, held in Umuahia, Abia State, a trader, Mrs Fortune Akakwandu, who went down the memory lane to tell the story of the life and times of her late grand daughter, Sophia, whose case was adjudged zero, described Cerebral Palsy children as gifts which also comes from God, as no one prayed to have a deformed child.
Akakwandu urged parents to seek help in handling the situation, adding that counselling even could be a game changer in caring for people with cerebral palsy.
She therefore, advised parents whose child/children are caught in the CP web not give a room for regret but create forum for joy and satisfy themselves, despite the discomfort.
Interacting with a cross section of Journalists, a Director of Physiotherapy and TSCF Team Leader, Dr. Uchenna Oluwatosin who demanded more governmental and societal attention to people living with cerebral palsy, said the society still has a lot to do to generate enough awareness and aid needed by people living with the condition.
She said, although, the Federal Government has signed the Disability Act and also the Abia State Government has domiciled it, but the headache has remained its implementation.
She passionately called on the Government to pay a special attention to the CP Children, as their case/upkeep pose a burden to their parents, especially those whose financial strength/muscle is weak.
Earlier, the founder, The Straight Child Foundation, Dr. Mrs Peace Amaraegbulam, who called for the Federal and State governments’ interventions for children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. foresaw a Nigerian societywhere early intervention care would really be adopted and instutionalised.
The event which featured Talent show by children living with Cerebral palsy and prize presentations, afforded parents, who include Mr. Kingsley Albert, an entrepreneur, the avenue to tell their stories and also encouraged others to keep faith high, love their children, take care of them and let God finish the rest.
Apparently overwhelmed with joy, shortly after receiving their Wheelchairs, the mother of little Miss Osinachi Godsgrace Chikodi (who got a motorized wheelchair and Study tablet) and parent of little master Chibuike Justice Chiakolam shed tears while narrating the stresses faced, looking for a suitable wheelchair for their children.
According to a report, there is currently no cure for Cerebral Palsy but there are treatments available which can help those with the condition to be as active and independent as possible. These include physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Technologies are improving all the time to upgrade the quality of life for those living with the condition.
A report also has it that, people with CP are still experiencing more stress and more pain, along with missing crucial appointments due to isolation and quarantine. Finding new ways to treat their chronic pain takes on renewed importance at this time. It’s also essential that we look toward the future and uncover ways to change what possible means for people with cerebral palsy.