MUKONO – Persons with cerebral palsy have Sunday, October 6 cried out to the public not to segregate them due to their condition.
The Uganda National Association of Cerebral Palsy (UNAC) made the remarks while commemorating the World Cerebral Palsy Day under the theme “I’m Here, We Are Here, Meaning Let’s Move As One” at Bukerere Boma Grounds, Seeta in Mukono District.
Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
Dr Kenneth Nangayi of Katalemwa Cheshire Home said Cerebral Palsy is a condition that damages the brain of children below the age of 5.
He said: “This disability affects the brain of a child which in turn affects the movement of their body as a whole or body parts like hands, legs or the sensory system like hearing or talking.”
“It can be acquired during pregnancy, but they can also occur at childbirth or after birth due to diseases like malaria and meningitis,” Dr Nangayi explains.
The Executive Director of UNAC Ms Christine Kirungi gave her experience of growing up as a person with Cerebral Palsy saying it was really hard for her.
“In society my family was segregated because I was born with this condition which is considered an abomination,” she said
Ms Kirungi encouraged people with the same condition to do their best in everything they put their hearts on and they will be excellent.
In some communities husbands abandon wives that give birth to children with cerebral palsy as it is considered a curse.
Ms Zakiya Namulindwa a mother of a child with the condition urged men not abandon their wives because they have had a child with a defect. Namulindwa appealed to mothers to always remember cerebral palsy is not contiguous.
“[Mothers] of children cerebral palsy, don’t lock them up in the house. Allow them to play with other children that way they won’t be segregated by their peers.” Ms Namulindwa said
Mr Rashid Kalule the Chairperson UNAC said that they commemorate this day to create awareness of cerebral palsy and to avoid stigmatising persons with cerebral palsy in our societies.