Mr Kenneth Nangai, a Ugandan Physiotherapist, has advocated that parents of children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) must lead in the management of the disorder.
He said the therapy was no longer straight jacketed and should be fused into the daily routine of the child to ensure maximum results.
“The practice where parents took their children with cerebral palsy to the hospital for therapy to be done for them no longer works, it does not take into consideration the parents well-being, we should look at new ways of rehabilitating these children apart from taking them to the hospital,” he said.
Mr Nangai is in Ghana as part of a programme dubbed; “Support Tools Enabling Parents,” that aims at improving the functionality and quality of life of children with CP through improved assessments and goal setting.
The project is funded by Liliane Foundation, a Dutch organisation that supports children and youngsters with disabilities who live in poverty, to help them develop and use their talents and contribute to giving them quality lives.
Mr Nangai, who is being hosted by the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on CP, has interacted with more than 40 parents and caregivers of children with cerebral palsy while advising them on what is practically possible to do with their children.
At a meeting with the parents of the Special Mothers Group, he said usually families raising children with CP bore the biggest challenge of addressing the day to day needs of the child such as feeding, toilet training and general functional abilities.
Parents must, therefore, be empowered to work effectively to rehabilitate their children with CP, he said.
“We should stop referring to children with cerebral palsy as being sick or patients, they are not sick, they are only limited in their functional abilities because of their condition and parents must be supported to play their role of improving their functionalities,” Mr Nangai said.
Mrs Hannah Awadzi, the Executive Director of the Special Mothers Project, said the programme served as a platform to link families raising children with CP to limited services.
“We try to help families through our advocacy programmes and we have facilitated the training of some mothers in various enterprises to enhance their lives,” she said.