Mr Emmanuel Asante, care-giver and grandfather of a five year old girl with cerebral palsy is urging government to facilitate the creation of centres for children with cerebral palsy.
Five-year-old Nhyira with cerebral palsy now needs an urgent surgery; she is also deaf and blind.
Mr Asante further called for services such as physiotherapy services and other therapy services to be extended to homes of children with cerebral palsy to enhance their quality of life.
“Children with cerebral palsy tend to get heavier as they grow and it becomes almost impossible to carry them for services such as physiotherapy in the hospitals,” Mr Asante said in an interview with the media.
Mr Asante, a pensioner who is struggling to take care of her five year old grand-daughter, said it was important to train parents with basic skills in physiotherapy to prevent the children from getting contractures due to care givers inability to take them for services they need.
Having centres for children with cerebral palsy for instance in every district will also enable the parents to leave their children in good hands to enable them work and earn a living.
Mr Asante said it will be absurd for him to even think of sending her granddaughter to school but having a centre for the children will give the family a lot of relief Recounting his journey as a primary care-giver for her granddaughter, he said “her condition put a huge strain on our finances, we use to take her for physiotherapy services at Korle-Bu but as she grew older, we could no longer afford the cost.”
He explained that he always had to hire a taxi to take her in addition to the cost of the physiotherapy, but “we could no longer afford the drugs such as anticonvulsants”.
Mr Asante urged government to support families with children who have cerebral palsy by including them as beneficiaries of the disability funds. He also called on the public to come to their aid and help put a smile on Nhyira’s face.
“Having a child with cerebral palsy requires a lot of finances, yet many parents and care-givers are unable to work since they have to take care of these children all the time,” he added Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects the movement and sometimes speech of children.
Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Initiator of the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy in Ghana, said there was the need for an umbrella body that coordinated the activities of individual organizations working on cerebral palsy.
Such coordination she said will help point parents and care givers to the right services they need and will enhance the advocacy campaign.