Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy South Africa NGOWhat is it? Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of non-progressive motor conditions in which damage to the brain impairs a person’s ability to move around and maintain balance and Posture.

“Cerebral”
refers to the cerebrum. CP occurs when the cerebrum (or brain) is affected by an injury or illness, before, during or after a baby is born.

“Palsy”
refers to the different types of paralysis, tremors and movement disorders resulting from damage to the cerebrum.

 

Movement Disorders of Cerebral Palsy – CP is classified in terms of movement disorders involved.

  • Spasticity – Stiff muscles
  • Ataxia – Poor balance and coordination
  • Dyskinesia – Uncontrollable movements

Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are four main types of Cerebral Palsy

80%Of all diagnosed cases of CP
Spastic Cerebral Palsy: this is the most common type and account for 80% of people with CP. They have increased muscle tone which means muscles are stiff and movement awkward.
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10%Of all diagnosed cases of CP
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: People with ataxic CP have problems with balance and coordination. They could be unsteady when they walk or have a hard time with quick movements or movements that need a lot of control.

Fact 1

5%Of all diagnosed cases of CP
Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: Muscle tone is fluctuating (varying from too tight to too loose) from day to day and even moment to moment. People with Dyskinetic CP have trouble control-ling the movement of their hands, arms, feet and leg. Movement is sometimes slow and other times quick and jerky. Sometimes the face mus-cles is also affected and the person will have difficulty to swallow, suck and talk.

5%Of all diagnosed cases of CP
Mixed Cerebral Palsy: Some people have symptoms from more than one type of CP. The most common combination is Spastic-dyskinetic CP.

Fact 2
Causes
CP is caused by abnormal development of the brain of dam-age to the developing brain. The brain damage that leads to CP can happen before birth, during birth (lack of oxygen dur-ing the birthing process), shortly after birth in the child’s first year of life while the brain is still developing. CP related to brain damage that occurs before or during birth is called Congenital CP. This accounts for 85-90% of CP cases. CP that happens after birth due to brain damage is called Acquired CP. This is usually caused by infections (like meningitis) or head injuries.

Fact 3

Having CP in rural Mpumalanga
Children with cerebral palsy living in poor and rural areas in South Africa are a exceptionally neglected and underserved group. Although they qualify for government assistance in the form of “Care Depend-ency Grants”, this money is usually the family’s only source of income and not all the money is spent on the child. Caring for a child with cerebral palsy involves many additional costs not associated with non-disabled children: trips to clinics and hospitals, special food, and disposable nappies/diapers. The children remain dependent on their mothers for feeding, bathing, dressing and toileting, placing a heavy burden of care on mothers. Mothers report feeling isolated, lonely and depressed in coping with day-to-day living. Families and caregivers have little or no access to support services, such as peer support groups and networks.

Fact 4

Studies have shown that less than 30% of children who need rehabilitation in South Africa actually receive it. Not only is transport to the hospital costly because of the distances involved, but once people get there they find that there are not enough therapists to help them, and the therapists may have little or no experience in working with children with cerebral palsy. In addition, a lack of financial resources at the hospitals means that there are long waiting lists for basic equipment such as wheelchairs, buggies and standing frames. As a result children up to the age of 14 years are still being carried on their mothers’ backs. South African studies indicate a high prevalence rate for CP, between 1% and 8%. Causes of CP differ in developed and developing countries. In South Africa, causes are more likely to be perinatal (i.e. asphyxia or lack of oxygen during delayed or complicated labour, infections frequently Tuberculosis Meningitis associated with HIV) and postnatal (i.e. uncontrolled epilepsy, head injuries, near drowning).

InFact 5fo from http://www.casualday.co.za/cerebral-palsy-in-south-africa/


HOW CAN YOU HELP??

Side 1
Sponsor a Buggie (or a part of it):
One size does not fit all. A buggie is a specialised wheelchair with seating equipment custom fitted to a specific individual. It offers the optimal seated position for good postural support and for engaging in functional activities. Standard wheelchairs are detrimental to children with CP causing great discomfort AND worsening problems such as the progression of deformities and contractures (permanent shortening of muscle or joints), pressure sores, respiration and digestion difficulties and overall instability. ±R13 500 (incl. special manufacturing, delivery and fitting)

Side 2

Sponsor Nappies
Due to the paralysis caused by CP, incontinence is a common problem. According to the NCPPDSA Almost double the number of children with disa-bilities, compared to their typical peers, lives at or below the national poverty line. Families have limited resources and nappies are seen as a luxury item. Children are left wet. This affects their dignity, causes stigmatisation and a host of health related issues. We have an ongoing need for nappies from size 5 and up. ±R10 per nappy

Side 3

Help with our Running Cost
Mpumalanga APD renders services to 50 Affiliate NPO’s including Protective Workshops, Stimulation Centres and Home Based Care projects with over 2000 persons with disabilities. The Social Development Staff is deployed to 4 satellite offices in the three districts of Mpumalanga from which we render social work services. We need about R250 000 per month to cover our running cost at 5 offices that includes items such as communication, fuel, rent, stationary and salaries. Any donation towards running Cost.

Sources: Pictures from google, http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/facts.html
http://www.webmd.com/understanding-cerebral-palsy-treatment and
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