Media advised to be sensitive on cerebral palsy reportage


The media has been urged to be sensitive with their reportage on cases involving children with cerebral palsy.

This is because what the media reports, tremendously influences the opinions of the society at large, and the opinions of policy makers, that could effect changes to improve the lives of these children.
Mrs Hanah Awadzi, Executive Director of the Special Mothers Project, said this in at a media sensitization program.

The Special Mothers Project is an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy. The Project has started organizing series of workshops for selected group. The first workshop was help for journalists in Accra

Mrs Awadzi said the world was full of challenges which nobody asked for, and the least we could do as humans, was to be supportive of each other as much as possible.

She said it was worth noting that children with cerebral palsy, were only challenged with a physical condition, and could go on to become achievers, once they were understood and given the opportunity where possible.

She said whilst the media had been very pro-active with educating the public on the subject, some reports on cerebral palsy created a negative impression of helplessness and a dire need for sympathy or pity, which was not necessarily always the case.

“Let us also highlight efforts, gains and achievements the children have chalked,” she said.

She said it was worth noting that language was a powerful tool, and media reports could make a difference in the public’s perception and in effect, the lives of the children and their parents.

Mrs, Awadzi touched on experiences of parents of children with cerebral palsy as well as medical personnel and said, collaboration and understanding between the two was most needed.

The Special Mothers Project Executive Director added that if health practitioners took time to understand the parents of these children, a lot more progress could be chalked.

She said this was because the parents of these children had practical understanding for the respective situations they found themselves in, and were well placed to fill the health practitioners or doctors in, with valuable information, which when well attended to, could foster immense progress.

Madam Mawunyo Yakor-Dagbah, National Vice -President of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations, said it would help if persons with disability were assisted with good policies, to have more comfortable lives.

She observed that whilst the country had many good policies including ones that could alleviate the plight of persons with disabilities, these policies were not being implemented.

Madam Yakor-Dagbah, said if people living with disability had favourable policies to compliment their plight, they would live much more comfortably.

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