By Ouma Onyango
Now imagine what it would be like to make sounds and words if you had trouble controlling your tongue, lips, and breathing! In this week’s talk health, Ouma Onyango reports on Cerebral Palsy, the most common childhood motor disability as the world marks the Cerebral Palsy awareness month.
Princess Gathoni is a 7 year old girl with an engaging smile, she is small for her age and more profound is her inability to control her body movement, posture, balance and even doing simple things like holding something.
By this age, a child should be able to talk, run around, start going to school and generally have more independence from family…but for the Karubiu`s, princess is totally dependent on them
Princess has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that appears in infancy or early childhood.
The news that their first born child had a condition they had never heard about broke the hearts of the young couple, when it was relayed to them, 7 months after birth.
Dr. Joseph Theuri, an orthopedic surgeon, says that children with this kind of condition may have some problems too, for princess she is also deaf.
The early signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before a child reaches 3 years of age. The most common are a lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements; stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes , walking with one foot or leg dragging; walking on the toes, a crouched gait and muscle tone that is either too stiff or too floppy.
There is no known cause for cerebral palsy, anyone can get it, but it can be attributed to some factors
There are several types of cerebral palsy with many variations. No two people with the disability will have it in the exact same way
Having such a child, Patrick Karubiu, the father tells us is challenging, the emotional, financial and physical attention she needs can be very draining for the caregivers. She can be very unruly and even experience breakdown,
Affecting about 17 million people worldwide and no cure on the horizon, there is hope as there are ways on how to reduce this ever growing number
In addition to this burden, stigma still remains to be the biggest challenge parents to children with this condition have to overcome
The Karibius believe stigma and prohibitively high cost of therapy has contributed to lack of facilities friendly to patients of cerebral palsy and even where there are facilities, patients miss out on them
In March, we can educate, volunteer, and get to know others with cerebral palsy.