Experts have said that the incidence of cerebral palsy in India has remained constant over the last 20 years. They added that innovative treatments mean that more low birth weight babies are surviving in recent years as compared to last decade.
India is home to some 25 lakh people with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a disease of movement and posture, according to pediatrician Sharad Agarkhedkar, president of the city chapter of the Indian Medical Association.
"In 1980s almost 50 per cent of babies had some handicap that included CP, deafness and visual problems. With the advances in medical science, the incidence of handicap has gone down to almost 20 per cent. That means, in every 1,000 premature and low birth weight babies, 200 may have some or the other handicap," he told The Times of India.
G Shashikala, general secretary, Indian Academy of Cerebral Palsy, stressed that cerebral palsy was not a disease, but a condition caused by developmental differences and that with adequate care, it can be managed effectively.