The Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba has urged the Government to introduce policies, better structures and safety nets for parents and carers of children living with Cerebral Palsy.
According to her, those parents and carers are the lifeline for children with cerebral palsy, and yet “they can’t work because 24/7 they are looking after these children and they have no social life”.
Speaking at a ceremony organised by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Mamprobi branch on the World Cerebral Palsy Day, Dr. Afisah Djaba
said they need emotional, psychological, family support and safety nets that would enable them to live and be there for the people with palsy who depend on them.
The former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection bemoaned how those parents and carers in spite of the many challenges, still ensure the children undergo their regular medical assessments, physiotherapy and maintain proper feeding among others.
Dr. Afisah Djaba who is also the host of the popular TV show “Let’s Talk Ability” which seeks to give voice to persons with disability, said that persons with cerebral palsy have special characters, intelligence and tenacity to achieve; the will to live with their challenges, to break barriers and come up with creative solutions and initiatives, hence the need for special attention from the state.
The Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation disclosed that about 1 in 323 children worldwide have been identified with cerebral palsy, according to estimates from Autism and Development Disabilities Monitoring network.
Adding that, around 764,000 people in USA have at least one symptom of cerebral palsy, and in Ghana, about 96,000 people are with palsy.
“It is important for us to realize that the focus, should not just be on the children, but also attention should be directed at their adulthood as well. The children do grow into adults, they live long, and that comes with other health complications like arthritis, forming relationships, marriage, child bearing and employment”.
She specially saluted some prominent people living with cerebral palsy such Mr. George Best, Elsie Adwoa Amponsah Dapaah (Legal Adivisor & Registrar at CHRAJ), Nii Akogyeram (founder Cerebral Palsy Awareness Gh), Farida Bedwei (Co-founder Logiciel Ghana) and all the others who are contributing to the development of Ghana and also serving as motivation to other persons with cerebral palsy and their caregivers.
Dr. Otiko Djaba used the occasion to invite the parents with children and adults with cerebral palsy to come for free assessment at her office premises this October. The telephone number to call is 0241235199 or send an email to [email protected]