Physicians on Tuesday said that early medical intervention for children with celebral palsy would increase their mobility and improve their quality of life.
They made the call at a parent support group programme, organised by Straight Child Foundation to mark the 2020 Cerebral Palsy Awareness onth in Umuahia.
Speaking at programme, Dr Peace Amaraegbulam, the Founder and Chairman of the foundation, said that she looked forward to having a situation where early intervention care would really be adopted and instutionalised.
“There is this concept called neuroplasticity, which means that within the first three years of life, if you cannot turn the brain but you can modulate it.
“So when you detect early that this child has cerebral palsy or there are things in the child’s story that make you think this child has the potential to develop it, then you don’t really have to wait for the child to start manifesting it.
“That would mean that once you think this child is going to have cerebral palsy, you start a whole gamut of intervention services in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and all that and with that, they tend to function better.”
Amaraegbulam, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon with the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, urged the federal and state governments’ interventions for children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
She expressed disatisfaction over the non implementation of disability law, one year after its approval by the Federal Goverment.
Also, Dr Uchenna Oluwatosin, the Team Leader of the Foundation, re-emphasised the importance of early detection and intervention, saying it would help to mould their brain.
“So the earlier you start, the more you are able to work on the neuroplasticity, the better result to get with the child,” she said.
Oluwatosin, who is the Director of Physiotherapy and Head of Physiotherapy Department, FMC, Umuahia, decried insufficient personnel and inadequate training as some of the challenges against the early detection.
She called on the Federal Government to empower the legislation of the disability act, especially on the free health care for those people so that they would be able to access heath care facilities.
The foundation through various speakers, encouraged parents who have children with cerebral palsy, to improve on their information and increase awareness among them.