There are over 17 million people living with Cerebral Palsy (CP), tens of millions of family members devoting their lives to the care of their loved ones, and tens of thousands of doctors and therapists involved in the diagnosis and treatment of CP.
World Cerebral Palsy is celebrated on the first Wednesday of October each year to draw the world attention to Cerebral Palsy and the need for public policies that seeks to ensure equal rights for people living with Cerebral Palsy
In Ghana the Special Mothers Project is joining the rest of the world to salute people living with Cerebral Palsy while encouraging mothers of children with Cerebral Palsy to come out and share their stories
In many countries, including Ghana people with CP are ?invisible?. They live out of sight, out of mind and out of options.?
People with CP face superstition and they and their families live a life of exclusion, however, when given the opportunity people with CP with the same opportunity as everyone else to live up to their potential, they prove how significant it can be?not just for individuals with CP, but for everyone in the societies in which they live.
One need not look any further than the poets and comedians and computer programmers and writers and activists living with CP to realise what a powerful contribution the community of people living with CP can make around the world.
In Ghana Farida Bedwei, is a classic example of a person living with CP yet a renowned Software Engineer, whose product is helping many in the Savings and Loans (Microfinance) Sector
Yet people living with CP are one of the least understood communities in the world.
The Special Mothers Project is a project that seeks to extend moral support and encouragement to Mothers with CP children. The project encourages mothers to seek help since there is genuine help out there, share their stories and come out with their CP children, our world need to know about CP.
Too little money is being spent on prevention and supportive tools; too few doctors and therapists have the knowledge to diagnose and treat people with CP; too many families lack access to basic information and support; too few teachers have the training to ensure people with CP get the education they deserve; and, perhaps most importantly, it is still far too easy to keep people with CP out of sight, out of mind and out of options in communities around the world.
This is not just a question of human rights. It has a direct impact on our collective social and economic wellbeing. The artistic, economic, social, scientific and political contribution of 17 million people?and those who commit everything on their behalf?are simply unrealized.
It does not have to be this way?especially in 2015.
Information is available. Support exists. Effective policies can be shared among countries. Evidence-based therapies and diagnostic tools are available. People just do not have access.
It is time to close the gap between the everyday circumstance and the very real potential of people living with CP.
That gap between potential and everyday reality is not going to close until every member of the community of people dealing with CP decide that it is important that every other member of that community have access to the tools and information they deserve.
To share their stories and best ideas. Until everyone living with CP has the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
Robyn Cummins, World Cerebral Palsy Day Manager
E: [email protected]
T: +61 2 9975 8712u