Cerebral palsy (CP) is defined as a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malfunction, while the child’s brain is under development. This condition persists for longer life and leads to disability throughout life. Common expressions of CP include but are not limited; The lack of coordination of the muscles when performing voluntary movements, strong or tight muscles and exaggerated awareness (flexibility), walking with a foot or leg pull, muscle tone, which is either very strict or very floppy , Excessive drift or difficulties swallowing or speaking and moving (vibrate) or random involuntary movements CP cases are considered to be higher in Africa than in Europe or United States; High incidence major contributor is athletic and newborn infections at birth.
Apart from this, there is a challenge to structured and consistent screening policy for developmental disabilities between infants and preschool children, therefore, children with disabilities are not identified and there is a lack of proper intervention. There is a stigma between children with disabilities and their families, they are deprived of basic things like health care, education, socialization and recognition.
Information gap and the lack of skilled personnel challenge the management of children with CP
In Kenya, Cerebral Palsy is monitored by the only entity named Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya. It was established in 1994 by the parents whose children’s suffered from the condition.
After conducting my community service tenure at CPSK, my feelings toward persons living wit cerebral palsy have been greatly changed. Any underlying stigma that I may have had or harbored have mostly been alleviated after interacting with the children over the 10-week period.
Also, I feel that society as a whole is not well informed about the condition and this is possibly the main reason for the stigma associated with cerebral palsy with some even going as far as accusing the mother of witchcraft. As far as this goes, it should be each member of society’s responsibility to spread awareness concerning cerebral palsy such that even people from the countryside where it is most stigmatized are made aware through campaigns and education.
Although community service is offered as a unit at the university, it is basically volunteer work, and we met different people who were also volunteering. This helped me gain a sense of helpfulness and also to feel responsible for other people besides myself. On the daily basis we would engage in several tasks throughout the site, this helped me gain more responsibility and respectfulness at the workplace.
It is also a good way to learn social responsibility because we were required to perform our duties without compensation, and this is a good way to build character especially at an early stage in life. We also learnt how to work in groups in order to complete our tasks and also to divide duties among ourselves with minimum supervision.
The requirement for community service is to appear for 9 hours a week, that is 3 hours a day, 3 days a week. I reported to CPSK from Tuesday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 12:00, the first duty on arrival is cleaning the compound which may include sweeping the compound, washing the veranda, mopping the classes and some of the office and at times, the toilet area. Next, we would wash the vans if there was enough water, there are two vans used to transport the students to and from home and afterwards we would do any job that would be required of us. At midday, we would sign out for the day.
The Kenya Government believes that disability reduces in all areas of development and all should be an integral part of national planning. Therefore the government continued to create a competent environment for different players to include disability. Issues in their policies and programs. Nevertheless, the majority of people with disabilities live efforts are needed for policy makers to invisible and integrate their participation in the national development Initiative. It is noted that the person with disability is not a homogeneous group, but it is different in terms of the nature of their disability and, that Kenya has no accurate data Disability which policy makers can rely on.
Despite the lack of accurate data, Government and other stakeholders have tried to offer a wide range of services to disabled persons. Kenya has made several laws such as Kenya’s Constitution and 2010 Disability Act 2003, which outlines the minimum standards of access to public services By persons with disabilities. However, in many cases which is lacking, there is a framework of action to overcome it The barriers that violate these rights Public administrators and other public officials Barriers to the disabled while looking for public services. The problem is linked to one There is a lack of awareness among the public administrators about the needs of the people
Kenya is a signatory to the United Nations Conference on the Rights of the People with Disabilities. Is inpart from the formation of Kenya in 2010, and with the Disability Act, 2003. this is the Fundamental Act that protects the rights of people with disabilities in Kenya. This legislation is intended to be implemented by state actors and monitored by non-state actors.
The Kenya government has adopted many laws and policies related to people with the disabled, productive and decent work and their right to basic services.
The Constitution says that; The person of any disability is entitled;
Cerebral palsy is a real problem that affects us today. It is therefore important that more of society is made aware of the problem in order to alleviate cases of stigmatization and victimization. We all have a responsibility to be each other’s keeper and cerebral palsy society of Kenya has shown us that it is possible if we come together like the parents who came together to form CPSK. With continued help from partners, volunteers and the government, it is possible to create an environment in which persons living with cerebral palsy can lead a relatively normal life.
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