There are a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding cerebral palsy. Discussions with Dr Tetteh on the Day Show with Berla Mundi revealed a lot concerning this medical condition that can affect anyone.
Dr Hannah Lisa Tetteh educated that a child can become a cerebral palsy patient when the mother has an infection throughout her gestation period and does not treat it before birth.
Cerebral is anything connected to the brain, whilst palsy means weakness or problems with using the brain. Given this, a cerebral palsy is a group of disorder that affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.
Maternal infection can cause abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain. This usually happens before the child is born but can also occur at birth or early infancy. Parents should seek medical attention when a child has difficulty breastfeeding, inability to crawl or sit on their own from six months to nine months.
Dr Hannah Lisa Tetteh said, “If the child in the womb has an infection that can affect the brain and the spinal cord, the child could be at risk of cerebral palsy. Sometimes if labour is prolonged, it may be the fault of the health care workers or the health department or through the choices of the parent. Mostly these things happen before birth that is why you wouldn’t know you have a child with cerebral palsy until the child starts growing and up till six months and the child can’t sit on his or her own.”
Presently, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. But many treatments help relieve symptoms, manage the associated condition and improve function and quality of life. For instance, medication and surgery can reduce pain and improve mobility, but it’s unlikely to restore complete function and movement.
Rehabilitation and physical therapy such as muscle training and exercises can also help the child’s strength, flexibility, balance and mobility.
Unfortunately, many cerebral palsy parents usually feel isolated in the community due to stigmatization. Others get rejected by their partners and families. But that should not be so. Cerebral palsy awareness and clubs should be promoted to provide inclusion for children and their parents.
By Lordina Nayeram Bessie|3news.com|Ghana