Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) Radio’s flagship programme Ghana Today has committed to support the cerebral palsy (CP) advocacy campaign in Ghana to ensure the implementation of policies on CP issues
The Ghana Today team led by Mrs. Gloria Anderson demonstrated their commitment by presenting a cash amount of thousand cedis (1000) to support the upkeep of Miss Ruby Afful, a nine-year-old girl with cerebral palsy whose primary caregiver had died recently
The Ghana Today team dedicated Thursday’s programme to discuss cerebral palsy, the stigma and challenges associated with raising a child with cerebral palsy and pledged to use the platform send periodic messages and reminders on cerebral palsy issues to the public
Some of Miss Ruby Afful’s family members’ contemplated killing the young lady, following the death of her mother Wilma Kotey, 28 years old, but for the intervention of her grandmother who is now shielding the girl.
Mrs Ellen Affam-Dadzie, Founder of With God Cerebral Palsy Centre, a facility that provides day care services for children with cerebral palsy narrating the issue on GBC’s Ghana Today programme on said, Ruby’s Mother, Wilma Kotey, a 28-year-old woman died because she fell ill and had no help or support even to access proper healthcare
She said “At the funeral of the late Wilma, there was no mention that Wilma left behind an only child with cerebral palsy, tributes were read by nephews and nieces but not from her only child”
“When we enquired about Ruby, we were told she had been locked in a room and the family members were planning to kill her since they do not foresee any bright future for the young girl,” Mrs. Affam Dadzie said
For now, Ruby spends her week at the With God Cerebral Palsy Centre and goes back to the family house on weekends
Mrs. Hannah Awadzi, Founder of the Special Mothers Project an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy who was also on the show said there is an urgent need for policies that enhance the lives of families raising children with cerebral palsy
“Currently, there is no concrete policy on children with cerebral palsy and very limited support services and systems, families raising children with cerebral palsy are left to struggle in isolation and sometimes killing such children becomes the easiest option,” she said
Mrs. Awadzi said society must make room for the effective inclusion of children with cerebral palsy, most children with cerebral palsy are denied access to education, quality health care, and social life, parents are forced to hide these children since they are usually seen as a curse or a burden.
She said society must learn to show empathy, instead of pity and embrace all persons living with cerebral palsy.