Kenya Joins the World in Marking World Cerebral Palsy Day
Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood caused by an injury to the developing brain, which mostly happens before birth, at birth or shortly after. Currently, 17 million people in the world have cerebral palsy. According to Centre for Disease Control (CDC), “Population-based studies from around the world report prevalence estimates of CP ranging from 1.5 to more than 4 per 1,000 live births or children of a defined age range.” There is not yet a statistic report on the number of people with cerebral palsy in Kenya.
Speaking at the event for World Cerebral Palsy Day 2017, Mary Warigia, Founder & Trustee Orion Foundation, acknowledged that through this celebration, the hope is to highlight the plight of those who are less privileged in society. This day is marked on the 6th October annually.
“We hope that our continued interaction and provision of information will help drive a positive outlook, drive a mind shift in regards to cultural beliefs and thus reduce stigma associated with disabilities. There is need to ensure that children and adults with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society”
The lack of information and subsequent poor policy planning has led to gaps within the system that have left children with learning disabilities disenfranchised. Despite the fact that children who suffer from learning disabilities are often misjudged as slow/poor learners, those who are correctly diagnosed still have to contend with limited access to suitable and accommodating education environments.
Currently, very few institutions in Kenya offer children with Cerebral Palsy an opportunity to study and flourish. More worrying is the fact that Kenya has very few special needs teachers, thus hampering efforts of the few schools open to children with learning disabilities.
Stephen Muga, Rehab Coordinator Feed the Children, highlighted this fact stating that, “the public and the community, need your support, to mould this young emerging part of our community. They deserve our love and our help and I know we will not let them down.”