A child-focused non-governmental organization, Pumpkins Foundation, has joined the rest of the world in celebrating the 2021 edition of the World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day.
CP Day is observed on October 6 annually. It is a day set aside for the global movement of people with Cerebral Palsy, their families, and the organizations that support them.
The Pumpkins Foundation in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Baisiwa Dowuona-Hammond, urged “improvement in the quality of care for child CP patients with a continuous call for efforts to ensure their inclusion in every aspect of society.”
The statement added, “On the issue of systemic challenges faced by these vulnerable children whom we represent, we believe strongly that there is the need for health policymakers in Ghana to prioritize the public education of Cerebral Palsy to reduce the pervasive and gendered stigmatization”.
The Pumpkins Foundation also called on the government to promote the well-being of caregivers of children living with Cerebral Palsy.
“Although there are negative attitudes towards primary caregivers and children with disabilities, fewer attempts have been made to understand their experiences globally. In Ghana, the stigma of childhood disability is often associated with women’s role in childbearing and nurturing.”
“It is worth noting that in 2017, three key stakeholders such as the Ministries of Health, Gender, Children and Social Protection as well as the Ghana Education Service, having participated in the annual commemoration of World CP Day organized by the Pumpkins Foundation, committed to an all-inclusive programme for all children including those living with Cerebral Palsy.”
“While deliberations continue for workable measures, the Foundation wishes for some urgency to the process, advocating an end to all forms of neglect against children with CP.”
The statement further indicated, “On the occasion of World Cerebral Palsy Day, the Pumpkins Foundation as part of activities to celebrate 10years of impacting lives, once again urges improvement in the quality of care for child CP patients with a continuous call for efforts to ensure their inclusion in every aspect of society.
“On the issue of systemic challenges faced by these vulnerable children whom we represent, we believe strongly that there is the need for health policymakers in Ghana to prioritize the public education of Cerebral Palsy to reduce the pervasive and gendered stigmatization”.
“Furthermore, the Foundation also wishes to use the 2021 commemoration of this special day to call on the Ghanaian Government to promote the well-being of caregivers of children living with Cerebral Palsy.
“Physiotherapy according to health experts is one of the most relieving interventions for persons living with CP. Sadly; most of our CP families are forced to opt out of this very crucial component of care for their loved ones, due to their inability to pay for the sessions.
“The Pumpkins Foundation avails itself to partnerships with the relevant authorities and stakeholders in an effort to making physiotherapy free and easily accessible for all children living with the condition, a gesture that undoubtedly will help lessen the financial burden on affected families”.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a non-progressive disorder of posture or movement caused by a lesion to the developing brain that results in functional limitations.
The diagnosis of CP can vary from one child to another, causing family stress because of vague and unknown outcomes of the disorder. It has no cure. Around the world, Cerebral Palsy affects some 17 million people.
As a child-focused organization, the Pumpkins Foundation, a non-governmental and not-for-profit organization together with its partners seeks to promote the general wellbeing of all children, especially the poor and less-privileged, their families, and the communities in which they live.