Parents of children with special needs in the Upper East Region are appealing to authorities to go to their aid in their attempts to raise children with special needs to be independent citizens of the country who contribute meaningfully to national development.
The parents stated that it is extremely difficult to raise children born with neuro-developmental disorders especially in the Upper East region because of the high cost of living and high cost of medication.
According to the parents, considering the expensive nature of taking care of a child with special needs and the stigma associated with it, there is a need for the government to provide a waiver on the medication they purchase for the children.
Including the said drugs in the list of essential medicines on the National Health Insurance Scheme is the way to go, the parents said.
Speaking at a symposium for children suffering from neuro-developmental conditions in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital, Mrs. Mary Ayinbilla one of the parents from the Bolgatanga municipality said “I want to plead with my father [Upper East regional Minister], to please talk to authorities to help us with the medication. Please we want our children’s medication to be captured in the National Health Insurance Scheme so that it will help relieve the burden on mothers.”
Florence Atuba, another parent of children with special needs from Navrongo, added, “We are begging you to come to our aid. In that direction, if there are drugs that are beyond our rate, can’t the region support us? So that we can also go out with our kids like normal parents, please, that is all we need from you.”
The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu who graced the medical symposium, promised to help address the issues affecting children with special needs and their parents including getting specialised doctors into the region.
The maiden Bolgatanga Medical Outreach brought together a team of medical doctors, speech therapists, dieticians, and behaviour therapists from Accra and Tamale to engage families of children with neuro-developmental disorders such as autism, cerebral palsy, neuro-developmental delays, etc.
The children were screened and the caregivers were given capacity-building training on how to properly take care of the children. The activity was hosted by Professor Mamudu Akudugu and his wife, Mrs. Katherine K. Millar.
Professor Mamudu Akudugu revealed that his wife, Mrs. Katherine K. Millar is the mastermind behind the outreach. Mrs. Millar’s aim is to help parents with children with special needs considering the region’s lack of specialists.
The outreach was supported by the Millar Open University/Millar Institute for Transdisciplinary Studies, Mission Pediatrics-Accra, Klicks Africa Foundation-Accra, and RISE-Ghana-Bolgatanga.
Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHZ|David Azure |Bolgatanga|