health

March 28, 2022

LINEO MABEKEBEKE

2 min read

Cerebral Palsy is not a curse – Mohasi

Cerebral Palsy is not a curse – Mohasi

Story highlights

  • Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects muscles control and movement
  • It is the main cause of physical disability in childhood

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CHILDREN with Cerebral Palsy should not be hidden and their needs should be addressed either through the provision of quality healthcare and assistive devices as their needs are very diverse and unique, says Chairperson of Mo-Rate Cerebral Palsy of Lesotho Itumeleng Mohasi.

“As an association, we urge the government and different stakeholders to consider children with cerebral palsy in decision-making, especially in addressing some of the challenges facing them and their parents,” she said.

Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects muscles control and movement. It is the main cause of physical disability in childhood. Changes in muscle tone and movement are the main characteristics, impairing functionality, hindering independence, and interfering with the affected person’s quality of life.

With highest prevalence levels in low and middle-income countries, National Cerebral Palsy Day gives an opportunity to raise awareness of this motor disability with stakeholders and explore environmental barriers which reduce participation for children with Cerebral Palsy and their families in Lesotho.

Mo-Rate Cerebral Palsy Association of Lesotho was established to raise awareness of the existence of children with the medical condition in the country.

As per Mo-Rate Cerebral Palsy Association of Lesotho Database per gender, the number of girls with Cerebral Palsy is estimated at 77 while the number of boys is 57 with Leribe having the highest number of boys at 29.

However, Ms Mohasi said the statistics were a tip of an iceberg as many children in different communities in all the 10 districts of Lesotho were not part of the database.

“Hence, it is important to collectively work together with the government and different stakeholders to engage in such activities that spark collaborative efforts,” she said.

“There is still the need for data collection so that there can be more facts and statistics that substantiate the status of children with Cerebral Palsy in Lesotho.”

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Currently, Mo-Rate has 134 children with Cerebral Palsy in the 10 districts of Lesotho. Leribe has the highest number at 45 followed by Maseru with 34, Butha-Buthe 18, Qacha's Nek 17, Mafeteng 12, Mohale's Hoek 11, Thaba-Tseka 10, Berea 7 and Mokhotlong 3, while statistics in Quthing are still unclear.

The Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day is celebrated annually on March 25.

Presently, the Physiotherapy and Outreach Programme supported by Glasswaters Foundation has been able to assess, treat and train 30 children and their families in Maseru.

The plan is to go to all districts of Lesotho and provide physiotherapy services and assistive devices through the use of Appropriate Paper Based Technology (APT).

Ms Mohasi said this work had provided a valuable platform for advocating for the rights of children with Cerebral Palsy in Lesotho and highlighted the need for changes in infrastructure and rehabilitative services to support families with such condition.

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