Sunday, May 19, 2019

Managing Cerebral Palsy requires more than passive stretching – STEP

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.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Epicentre and MFI Foundation gives hope to women and mothers of children with disabilities

The Epicentre, a special needs educational facility in partnership with Mathilda Flow Inclusion Foundation (MFI) is giving hope to women and mothers of children with disabilities by empowering them financially

The two organizations under a project dubbed: Knitting of hats and mittens, identify parents of children with disabilities or young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities to train in knitting techniques.

Selected participants are trained by the MFI Foundation, a programme that employs women and mothers of children with disability to create fashion, with a transitional employment programme which pays living wages and generates meaningful work.

Mrs Joyce Ankrah, Co-Founder of Epicentre in a conversation with the Special Mothers Project said that she encounters mothers of children with disabilities who want to place their children in school but genuinely do not have the financial resources to support them.

The Special Mothers Project is an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy issues, the project uses the media to advocate with the aim of enhancing the lives of families raising children with cerebral palsy

Mrs Ankrah said “The Knitting of hats and mittens programme specifically targets mothers who want to their children with disabilities to come to the Epicentre but are unable to do it due to financial restraints.” 

The Epicentre is a non-profit organization launched in 2013 to provide education and therapy services to children with developmental disabilities.

The school offers a flexible curriculum tailored to the need of the individual as well as offering respite services which enables parents to drop off their children in the school on Monday and pick them up on Friday.

Mrs Ankrah said the Epicentre has spacious classrooms with small class sizes, a physical therapy unit, a modern kitchen, all the rooms have enclosed toilet and bathroom facilities, an outdoor sports court and it is fully accessible to children using wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

She said many parents get frustrated finding an appropriate educational facility for their children with disabilities, hence the Epicentre also has two branches in Accra,  Gbawe, which is the main branch and Labone another branch which provides day care services

Mrs Ankrah said her organization will be happy to host volunteer play or music therapist, physiotherapist, speech therapist, special needs teachers and arts or creative teachers to further enhance their work

Sunday, April 21, 2019

With God Cerebral Palsy Centre reopens

The With God Cerebral Palsy Ghana Centre, a facility that provides day care services to children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities has reopened.

The centre closed down temporarily last year due to a few  unforseen challenges, however, Mrs Ellen Affam-Dadzie, Executive Director of the centre said the challenges has been resolved and the centre is now fully operational

Mrs Affam- Dadzie has also started a degree programme in Community based rehabilitation and disability studies at the University of Education, Winneba to acquaint herself with current knowledge to be able to serve the disability community better.

She said “being a mother of a child with cerebral palsy myself, I knew at first hand the challenges associated with raising a child with cerebral palsy in Ghana. I know how parents struggle to find safe places and environments to keep their children in order for them to work.”

The centre initially provided day and boarding facilities to children with disabilities but now provides only day care services, Mrs Affam-Dadzie said

She said providing this facility to serve the children with disabilities goes a long way to enhance the lives of families raising children with special needs.

She said her major challenge has been the ability to employ and maintain qualified staff and appealed to professionals already working in Ghana to volunteer in her facility where possible