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Afrikids discusses perception of spirit children in Upper East Region; urges medical attention for children with disabilities

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Afrikids External Affairs Director Raymond Ayinne has said that the belief in the existence of “spirit children” is largely a perception. He noted that this perception is mainly due to the fact that these children are often born with deformities or disabilities. Mr. Ayinne further explained that a second perception surrounding spirit children is that they have spiritual powers that can be used to harm family members and the community, which is a major reason why such children are attacked.

“It’s largely a belief that associates children born with disabilities, deformities, born under certain circumstances, born without mothers in the course of childbirth, born ‘extra special’ in terms of their IQ, or born with a tooth, with being tagged as spirit children,” Mr. Ayinne said. He added that the second perception of spirit children is that they wield a lot of spiritual power and are capable of unleashing it on family members and the entire community. This makes it a community responsibility to eliminate such children to protect themselves.

Mr. Ayinne also explained that some communities’ approach to dealing with the issue of spirit children could be attributed to their difficulty in understanding the condition of the newborn and how it affects them. “Basically, it’s often the community trying to understand the condition and looking at how it impacts them. And so, to safeguard or to protect themselves, they take measures like giving the child a concoction to drink,” he said.

Mr. Ayinne further stated that their extensive work with such children has revealed that they are often born with medical conditions such as cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus. He explained that these conditions could be a result of delayed or prolonged labour, unsupervised deliveries, or complications that arise during birth, which can be attributed to the poor healthcare system in the country, especially in rural communities.

“Some are living with cerebral palsy, they are living with conditions such as hydrocephalus, they are living with various forms of disabilities often linked with delayed or protracted labour, unsupervised deliveries, and all these complications that come with childbirth. If you consider access to healthcare in some of the remote parts of this country, especially in the Upper East region, you will understand why some of these cases are high,” Ayinne explained.

Finally, Mr. Ayinne called on parents with such children to seek medical advice rather than subjecting their children to inhumane treatment.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Gerard Awombadek Asagi|Ghana

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