Many parents of children with Cerebral palsy are taking to social media platforms to share pictures of their children with cerebral palsy ahead of World CP Day on 6th October 2023.
World Cerebral Palsy Day is a global movement that started in 2012 with the aim of bringing together people living with cerebral palsy, their families, supporters and organisations from over 100 countries.
A statement issued by Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Executive Director of the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy organisation for children with cerebral palsy and their families said, in Ghana, the campaign to support children with cerebral palsy had been led by parents, which was gradually picking up.
“These days many parents are showing their children with cerebral palsy and are able to ask for help and support, initially, parents or families of children with cerebral palsy were forced to hide them,” she said.
The awareness creation campaigns by organisations like the Special Mothers Project and others are helping to deal with the stigma associated with having a child with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. Many people with cerebral palsy have other related vision, hearing, communication and mobility needs. Its impact can range from a weakness on the one hand, to almost a complete lack of voluntary movement.
“Many people are becoming aware of the condition and thus becoming supportive of such children and their families,” the statement said.
Mrs Awadzi however said a lot still needed to be done, “We want the government to come up with policies that favour children with cerebral palsy and their families, we want the Inclusive Education policy which is currently being reviewed to be fully implemented, we want a lot of Early-years rehabilitation centres that also serves as safe spaces for families to leave their children to enable them go to work.
“There is also the need for affordable and trained caregivers to support families nurturing children with cerebral palsy among others”, the statement added.
The World CP Day celebration also aims to ensure a future in which children and adults with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society.
There are more than 17 million people across the world living with cerebral palsy. Another 350 million people are closely connected to a child or adult with cerebral palsy.