Managing Cerebral Palsy requires more than just passive stretching exercises, Mr Kees van den Broek, Project Leader for the Sustainable Tools Enabling Parents (STEP) has said
The Support Tools Enabling Parents, a programme by Liliane Foundation aims at improving the functional capacity of rehabilitation workers, children with disabilities and their families.
Mr van den Broek said cerebral palsy management required a holistic approach that considers the wellbeing of especially the mother of the child in the intervention plan.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that affects the movement and sometimes speech of children. Children with cerebral palsy can be classified as having mild, moderate or severe condition.
Mr van den Broek said this at an information session on the STEP programme for the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy.
The information session brought representative participants from other organizations working to improve the lives of children with disabilities such as Sharecare Ghana, SWEB Foundation, Impact Care and Rehabilitation Foundation, With God Cerebral Palsy Ghana, MEB Special Children’s home and selected rehabilitation workers.
He said cerebral palsy is not an orthopaedic condition, it is a neurological condition which requires a different approach to managing apart from sending the affected children to a rehabilitation centre, “You cannot fix neurological disorder we can work to improve the condition and the quality of life.”
The STEP project leader said many rehabilitation worker knows how to identify a child with disability but usually do not know what to do in terms of managing such a child, there is the need to develop more knowledge and tools that gives a holistic approach.
As part of the project, STEP and Liliane Foundation has developed an app Rehapp CP available on Google Playstore and App Store to enable caregivers have access to more tools and information on cerebral palsy.
Mr Kenneth Nangai, STEP Project Coordinator took participants through the assessment processes, setting goals and had practical sessions demonstrating how assessments should be done.
He emphasized that the wellbeing of the mother should be considered when planning intervention programmes for children with cerebral palsy.