Parents urged to embrace children born with cerebral palsy

As the world marked World Cerebral Palsy Day on Saturday, medics say attending antenatal care during pregnancy can help reduce cases of children born with the condition.

Speaking during a 10km walk organised by Doors of Hope to sensitise the public about cerebral palsy in Athi River, Machakos county stakeholders raised alarm over the rising number of  families hiding children born with the condition, owing to stigma.

Director Jacqline Shibalira said  children living with cerebral palsy have talents that need to be nurtured.

“After conducting sensitisation programmes about cerebral palsy, we have managed to receive at least 130 children who were kept behind closed doors and denied access to quality life because of the condition,” she said.

She added that getting caregivers to take care and mentor the children is a major challenge.

Doctor Thomas Ndolo said children born with the condition can be self-reliant if given proper medical care.

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth.

Signs and symptoms appear during infancy or preschool years. In general, the condition causes impaired movement associated with abnormal reflexes, floppiness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture or unsteady walking.

Some affected people can walk while others cannot. Some show normal or near-normal intellectual capacity, but others may have intellectual disabilities.

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