The World Cerebral Palsy Day 2015 is being observed on the 7th of October 2015.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects millions of people all over the world. It is a neurological condition that results in difficulties in movement and co-ordination. Its effects can last a lifetime. While some individuals suffer from mild cerebral palsy and can live a normal life, there are several others who require regular support to take them through their daily chores. Some of these suffer from additional disabilities, which make their situation worse.
AdvertisementCerebral palsy is of 4 types:
- Spastic cerebral palsy, where the muscles are stiff
- Dyskinetic cerebral palsy, where the patient experiences uncontrollable movements
- Ataxic cerebral palsy, where there are problems with balance and co-ordination
- Mixed type, where features of more than one type of cerebral palsy are present
On this World Cerebral Palsy Day, the World Cerebral Palsy Community consisting of children and adults with cerebral palsy, medical fraternity, caregivers and families of patients stress on six areas that particularly need a change:
- Public Awareness: People's perception of cerebral palsy requires a major change. Many of the myths surrounding cerebral palsy need to be cleared. This would entail educating the public about the facts of cerebral palsy and sensitizing them to the needs of the patients. People with disabilities often receive our sympathy, but what they really need is the opportunity to stand up to us in every sphere of life.
- Civil Rights: Civil rights vary from country to country. People with cerebral palsy get adequate opportunities in some countries. However, there are several other countries where the issue is totally ignored. The government should be aware of its duties towards patients of cerebral palsy. Changes in rules should be brought about so that people with cerebral palsy enjoy equal opportunities as every other citizen. It is also important to make sure that the rules are implemented and do not merely remain on paper.
- Medical / Therapeutic: Though there is no complete cure for cerebral palsy, the best options for treatment and rehabilitation should be made available. Many family practitioners may not be capable of diagnosing the condition or starting treatment early. Also, all patients may not have access to doctors trained in the field. Therefore, it is necessary to train more doctors to diagnose and manage cerebral palsy. Preventable causes of cerebral palsy like lack of oxygen during birth should be avoided as far as possible.
- Quality of Life: Quality of life is the ability to lead a happy and fulfilling life. People with cerebral palsy do not want to be just kept alive. They also need equal access to opportunities as others, so that they can have a good life as well. Patients also need to feel a sense of achievement.
- Education: Education is necessary for patients with cerebral palsy so that they can match up with other people in every sphere of life. They may need special teachers trained in helping them keep up with their education. In addition, as mentioned above, the general public should also be educated to sensitize them to the requirements of the patients.
- Contribution: Every individual, including a patient of cerebral palsy, is capable of contributing to the welfare of the society. All they need is the means and opportunity to do the same. People with cerebral palsy have already proved their worth in various fields of art and science. An inability to contribute will ultimately be a loss to the society.