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AfriKids calls for support to expand care for children living with Cerebral Palsy

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AfriKids, a child rights organisation headquartered in the Upper East Region, is calling for support from well-meaning organisations and individuals to help expand care for persons, particularly children, living with cerebral palsy.

When care for children living with such conditions expands beyond the four centres in the Upper East Region run by AfriKids, it will gain national attention and, as such, be guided by national policies.

Additionally, the Ghana Health Service has been called upon to collect specific data related to children or persons living with cerebral palsy, as it would help guide national discussions and policies.

Raymond Ayinne, External Affairs Manager for AfriKids, made these comments when he spoke to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, in connection with the celebration of World Cerebral Palsy Day.

At AfriKids, Cerebral Palsy work falls under our Health and Child Protection thematic areas and evolves around community mobilisation, physiotherapy for children suffering from the condition, economic empowerment of the parents of children living with the condition and former practitioners of SCP now, Right to Life Promoters, advocacy for social and behavioral change, and the engagement of traditional authorities, especially chiefs, queen mothers, and opinion leaders, as well as local authority representatives, play a critical role in eradicating the phenomenon.

Mr. Ayinne also called on communities to play their part to ensure that children living with cerebral palsy get the care they need. 

“Our new strategy with regard to the Spirit Child Phenomenon is to mobilise communities to support this sort of work. Yes, currently we have some volunteers, but they are largely people who are training other community members to provide these massages and other support systems that we use to correct posture and improve mobility. We want communities that are really keen about this work to find young women and men to volunteer and be trained so that our teams don’t have to leave all the way from Sirigu to Dua, Vea, or Feo to provide these services.”

“We want to take the conversation around the Spirit Child Phenomenon to a global stage. Hopefully, we get our leaders and policymakers to begin to prioritise the issue about cerebral palsy and disability in children. Also, [we need] to find new partners to support this work. If you look at the inputs from AfriKids, including surgeries and other things, it is quite expensive. We hope to find new partners who are willing to support us to be able to take this project to scale,” he said. 

On October 6, the world unites to observe World Cerebral Palsy Day, an occasion to honour the lives and accomplishments of the over 17 million people worldwide affected by this condition. Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders impacting movement and posture. The condition deserves recognition not only for its prevalence but also for the resilience and achievements of those living with it.

Cerebral Palsy stems from brain damage before or during birth, affecting movement, muscle coordination, and balance in individuals. World Cerebral Palsy Day provides an opportunity and a platform to understand the impact of this often-misunderstood condition. Children and adults affected by cerebral palsy often face challenges that hinder their full participation in society. World CP Day sheds light on the need for increased awareness, understanding, and support for those with cerebral palsy.

This year’s theme for World Cerebral Palsy Day, “A world that’s made for everyone,” underscores the critical importance of accessibility and inclusion for individuals with cerebral palsy. The focus extends beyond mere rhetoric to a commitment by stakeholders to creating a world where everyone, regardless of ability, can actively engage in all facets of society.

Cerebral Palsy stems from damage to the developing brain before or during birth, affecting movement, muscle coordination, and balance. While there is no cure for it, treatments exist to improve symptoms. Notably, cerebral palsy stands as the most common motor disability in children, impacting over 17 million people globally.

World Cerebral Palsy Day is a call to action for a more inclusive world. Understanding the condition, supporting those affected, and advocating for their rights are important steps toward building a society where everyone, regardless of ability, can thrive.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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