Sunday, August 28, 2016

Pastor urges government to build institutions that supports disabled persons

Hannah Awadzi

The Reverend Stanley Mensah, Deputy General Overseer of the Charismatic Evangelistic Ministry (CEM) has called on government to build institutions that supports disabled person.

He said the existence of such institutions in Ghana will not only help make them independent but will also help harness their abilities to enable them contribute to the nation’s development

Rev. Mensah said this in an interview after his church CEM organized an event to fete and provide medical care to thousands of persons living with disability within the Accra metropolis and beyond.

He said: “I do not think that government has an idea about the state of disability in the country,” adding that CEM’s decision to fete and attend to the medical needs of disabled persons in Accra alone was an eye opener to the extent of disability in the country.

Rev. Mensah said his church saw a similar thing being done in London some years ago and they decided to replicate it in Ghana.

Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Initiator of the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy use the opportunity to talk to the pastor about cerebral palsy.

She said: “Cerebral Palsy is the single and most popular cause of disability in children,” and urged the church to extend support to families with cerebral palsy children, especially those in the rural areas.

Mrs Awadzi also called for data and accurate statistic on cerebral palsy in Ghana to enable government knows the extent to which it affects families and also affect policy formulation.

Ghana indeed needs institutions that support disabled person especially children to enhance their lives, she added

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ensure that children with cerebral palsy are admitted into mainstream schools – GES told

Hannah Awadzi

Ms Gloria Gyamea, a Physiotherapist at the Orthopedic Training Centre (OTC), Nsawam, has called on the Ghana Education Service to urgently ensure that children with cerebral palsy are admitted into mainstream schools

Ms Gyamea, demonstrating how to fix a splint to parents
She said: “As a physiotherapist, the first recommendation I make to parents is to tell them to send their children to mainstream school but most of the children return to me disappointed the their children have been refused admission.”

“I have a list of about 250 parents with cerebral palsy children who have been refused admission at into pre-school simply because they have cerebral palsy,” Ms Gyamea said.

She expressed the concern when OTC organized a workshop for parents and care givers of cerebral palsy children to enhance their knowledge on CP management.

Ms Gyamea said that usually when children with cerebral palsy are admitted into mainstream schools they pick up developmental skills quickly and it further enhances their development.

“I have a nephew with cerebral palsy who went to mainstream school and walked just after the third term,” she said explaining that as children with CP see their colleagues walk and engage in other activities, they get motivated and pushed to also do it.

She urged the Ghana Education service to treat this issue as an urgent one to avoid wasting and possibly killing children with cerebral palsy.

“Ghana Education Service please tell us where we can put children with CP, should we continue to hide them indoors.”

Ms Naomi Adumea Asante, an educationist, who expressed passion about the issue of admitting children with cerebral palsy into mainstream school, said it is an issue which government should treat as urgent.

She noted that every teacher who has gone through the training college knows a bit about special education, however, they do not put those skills to use.

“I am particularly worried about the so-call Montessori springing up and charging huge fees and yet refuse children with cerebral palsy admission or do not treat them well when they are in their schools.”

Ms Adumea Asante said depending on the severity of cerebral palsy in a child, he or she could get worse if the child is put in a special schools and even when parents send these children to specials schools they are shown a tall list of people waiting to be admitted.

Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Initiator of the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy, said: “I have seen a lot of mothers who says their children with cerebral palsy even though intelligent are kept home because schools don’t accept them.”

She expressed surprise that even with the launch of the Inclusive Education Policy, nothing seems to be happening, and said she hoped that government paid more attention to such issues.

“Many educated parents with children who have cerebral palsy are forced to stop work and stay home to take care of their children, how then can they take care of the children since they earn nothing and yet taking care of these children is a lot of money, “ Mrs Awadzi added

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

NGO supports mothers with CP children

Women of Love Ministry, a non-governmental organization that aims at empowering women to be entrepreneurs has supported two women with some equipment to start working to earn a living

Ms Rebecca Agama, a seamstress and a mother of child with cerebral palsy was supported with a sewing machine. While Rosemary Ladzi as supported with a poly-tank to enable her sell water to her community members

Other mothers with cerebral palsy children were all given a bag of rice and a bottle of oil as some form of support.

Mrs Gloria Yeboah Botwe, Director of Women of Love Ministry who made the presentation at a ceremony in Dodowa, said children with cerebral palsy are also gift from God.

“Your children have the spirit of God in them, they are also created in the image of God, do not look down on your children or belittle yourselves, you will be amazed if God revealed His purpose for your children to you,’ she advised the women

Mrs Yeboah-Botwe said her organization is ready train mothers with cerebral palsy children in various vocational skills for free and also help them with startup capital to enable them earn a living and be able to take good care of their children.

The mothers who used the occasion to share their challenges and also encourage themselves expressed appreciate to Women of Love for the kind gesture and urged other organizations to emulate

Ms Rosemary Ladzi, shaing her experience said she had been frustrated to the point of poisoning herself but she was thankful she did not die.

Ms Agama on the other hand said her association with other mothers through the CBM, an international Christian Development organization has been very helpful.

“Even though I have had challenges even with sending my child to school, CBM’s project has been my biggest source of encouragement to keep me going,” she said

CBM, in collaboration with the International Centre for Evidence in Disability of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Ghana (UG) initiated a research to evaluate the impact of a community –based parent training programme for children with Cerebral Palsy in Ghana.

The project being implemented through the health Directorate of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana brings together groups of 10-15 parents of care givers of children with cerebral palsy   and provide training
Mrs Jedidiah Abanga, Official of the Presbyterian Church Health directorate explained that the programme aims to increase knowledge and skills in caring for a child with cerebral palsy.

It promotes a participatory learning approach with an emphasis on the empowerment of parents and caregivers, she added

Mr Anthony Adaboe, a Special Needs Educator and leader of one of such groups in Dodowa, said many of the mothers have expressed enormous benefits since the start of the project.

As part of the project a group of health professionals including physiotherapists, nutritionists, pediatricians and other health officials visit the mothers at home periodically while monthly meetings are also help to teach the group.

The project among other objectives is also exploring ways caregivers can be empowered and how it impacts upon care of their child.