•Pregnant women fail to get antenatal care
•Condition requires constant attention, is caused by damage to parts of the brain that control posture, balance and movement
Medics in Naivasha yesterday called for concerted efforts to combat rising cases of cerebral palsy especially in rural areas.
They blamed the problem on mothers’ failure to get prenatal care, leading to complications during delivery.
Cerebral palsy is a permanent disorder that appears in early childhood. Symptoms include stiff muscles, poor coordination, tremors and weak muscles. It can be caused by abnormal growth or damage to parts of the brain that control balance, movement and posture.
Yesterday, the Rotary Club of Naivasha hosted more than 700 children with special needs from all schools for a fun day.
The Rainbow Rally event was meant to ring together learners from all public and private schools to interact and enjoy performances as one way of highlighting their plight.
“We need to realise that failure to go to a clinic during pregnancy can be dangerous to the unborn child and contributes largely to the rise in the condition that these children are facing right now,” Dr Evans Makumba said.
The disorder cannot be treated, hence the need for awareness as a prevention measure, he said.
“Right now we know the Nakuru county government is doing a lot in establishing and equipping health centres at the grassroots level. I urge women to take advantage of that and get screened.”
Club director for special projects Rosana Mbaya said most children with special needs are hidden in homes as parents fear to show them in public.
“We came together and mobilised recourses to ensure the children who live amongst us enjoy and feel they are part of us just like the rest of children with whom they go to school,” she said.
Caregiver Margret Wanjiku said children with special needs face a myriad of problems even at school, hence they require round-the-clock attention.
“Some of them have complications to the extent they can’t feed on their own and thus requires a caregiver to be with them on a full-time basis.”