More needs to be done to improve management of cerebral palsy

Nairobi: June 8, 2017: There is a need for concerted efforts by both the government and private sector players to strengthen response to cerebral palsy through awareness and improved access to treatment. 

Speaking at the Cerebral Palsy awareness campaign organized by Aon Kenya in support of Cerebral Society of Kenya and Ongata Rongai Special Home and Training Center, Aon Kenya Head of Marketing and Business Development Caroline Njuguna said the awareness about the cerebral palsy was still low in the country despite the fact that it contributes 4.6 percent of disability among children and adults.

“At the moment, cerebral palsy ranks among the leading causes of disability among children hence the need to rededicate efforts towards this neurological disorder through financing towards quality treatment and public awareness,” said Ms. Njuguna.

She said businesses have a responsibility to contribute to the welfare of society, adding that Aon Kenya has been financing physiotherapy for cerebral palsy children at Cerebral Society of Kenya and Ongata Rongai Special Home and Training Center.

“We strive to empower communities through three pillars of health, education and talent development. As part of our corporate social responsibility, we have supported care and treatment of persons with cerebral palsy,” she said.

“We have also partnered with Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya to lobby for policies and legislation that strengthens action on this disorder. At the same time, we have also supported public awareness to reduce stigma on persons affected by this disease,” she added.

A study conducted by Orion Foundation and Breakthrough Consulting in late 2016, revealed that only 14% of the general public interviewed were aware of Cerebral Palsy, with many people not aware of the availability of facilities that support cerebral palsy cases. Special schools were cited as the most available to parents of children with cerebral palsy.

Cases of CP are thought to be higher in Africa compared to Europe or United states; higher incidence major contributors are birth asphyxia and neonatal infections. Further, there is a challenge of structured and consistent screening policy for developmental disabilities amongst infants and preschool children hence, many disabilities are unrecognized and lack appropriate intervention.

“Stigmatization is rife among children with disabilities and their families denying them the basics such as health care, education, socialization and recognition,” saidGeorge Kakala, Chairperson – Cerebral Society of Kenya.