The Gold Coast Medical Foundation (GCMF) an American based Non Profit Organization in collaboration with Cerebral Palsy Ghana has organised free health screening for over 200 children living Cerebral Palsy (CP) in Ghana.
The event which was held with support from Mensvic Hotels Limited in Accra was ment to enhance knowledge on the management of the illness and motivate caregivers as well as dispel backward social myths about the condition.
Dr. Kwaku Boakye Co-founder of the GCMF in an interview with journalists before the screening described CP as a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth.
He explianed that the signs and symptoms mostly appear during infancy or preschool years adding that the condition causes impaired movement associated with abnormal reflexes, floppiness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unsteady walking, or some combination of these.
“People with cerebral palsy may have problems swallowing and commonly have eye muscle imbalance, in which the eyes don’t focus on the same object. People with cerebral palsy also may suffer reduced range of motion at various joints of their bodies due to muscle stiffness.
Cerebral palsy’s effect on functional abilities varies greatly. Some affected people can walk while others can’t. Some people show normal or near-normal intellectual capacity, but others may have intellectual disabilities. Epilepsy, blindness or deafness also may be present, ” he said.
Dr. Boakye admonished parents of children with CP to seek early medical help to minimise the effects and appealed to corporate institutions and other philanthropists to assist in treating children with CP.
He said the Foundation would facilitate forums, training sessions to educate parents on the disease and announced that his team will set up triag consulting room and a pharmacy unit in some eight selected communities to screen the pubic for malaria, diabetes , hypertension, check blood pressure and offer immediate health care where necessary.
These communities he said are Kokomlemle and Kokrobite in the Greater Accra region , Akosombo and Suhum in the Eastern Region , Sekyerewaa and Asaman Kese in the Ashanti Region , as well as Mankesim and Abuba in the Central Region.
“The team during the outreach will focus on communicable diseases , Non -communicable diseases ( kidney diseases , diabetes , hypertension, obesity , autism) ,” he said .
Dr. Kwaku Boakye explianed that this year’s exercise dubbed ” 2017 Global Health Summer Program” forms part of the Foundation’s efforts in improving the health of communities through education, policy making and research for disease and injury prevention.
“This is not the first time and would not be the last we going to organise such an exercise, the
Foundation is dedicated to the achievement of adequate health care that is sustainable,” he said.
President of the Cerebral Palsy Ghana , Providence Noyonyo, appealed to government to consider free Medicare for persons living with the condition , train more physiotherapists and revise the current National Disability Act to give equal if not more attention to mental disabilities.
“Persons with CP and other mental challenges should be automatic beneficiaries of government , social intervention programmes ,” he said.
He also stressed the need for an all inclusive education policy to encourage and adequately resource public , private and special school to admit persons with CP in their schools.