Our work in Ghana
In Ghana many families have children with cerebral palsy but there are very limited opportunities for treatment.
Working visit Ghana June 2021
In 2018, the Scottish CPA started a program on inclusive education for children with CP, which was funded by DFID, in collaboration with Multi Kids Inclusive School as the implementing partner. After the transition from CPA Scotland, CPA NL was requested to organize a final Master-training (ToT) for Multi Kids staff, mainly SPEd teachers (special education teachers) and para medics.
Because of Covid 19, the outreach component of the program (to promote IE for children with CP in 19 regular schools throughout the country) could hardly be implemented, because M&E visits were not possible. Since traveling from Europe was also restricted until recently, as a compensation several WhatsApp training sessions were organized in the first half of 2021. Our visit was the first since the (last and only) training visit in 2019 organized by the Scottish CPA : a) on production of APT seats for the SPEd Teachers and b) on sharing knowledge about CPA, aiming to improve skills for therapeutic/ ADL interventions by the SPEd teachers). The objectives of our visit were related to the indicators of the result framework.
Main ambition for CPA, since its inception in the Netherlands in April 2020, has been to establish an African network of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD)-Master trainers connected to CBR programs, aiming to improve a) practical tools and skills & b) coaching competencies of fieldworkers, to improve QoL (Quality of Life) of children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and their families.
A 6-day curriculum was developed; and funds were raised.
CPA-NL main goals are to facilitate the development of the African network, train professional staff as well as CBR fieldworkers and offer technical support in reaching out to (severe) NDD children and their parents.
The first NDD Master training was originally planned in Ethiopia with Light for the World (LftW) and the University of Gondar (UoG), but due to the civil war this had to be canceled. Fortunately, the Salvation Army offered to take the lead in organizing the event in Ghana, co-hosted by UEW, MKA and HH&VF.
Click here to read more: Report-NDD-Master-Training-October-4
Training started in Winneba, Ghana
4-10-2021 started a mastertraining in Winneba: Building a network of African master trainers in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities to improve the competencies in the management of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families The Ghana News Agency wrote the following article to it:
Adopt a different approach to manage neurodevelopmental disabilities
Winneba (C/R), Oct. 4, GNA – A training programme for the rehabilitation of professionals working with children with Neurodevelopmental disabilities on Monday opened with a call for these professionals to look for a new approach to managing such disabilities Mr Kees Van Den Broek, Former Director of Liliane Foundation, a Netherlands based organization, said the same approach that was used in the 80s to manage orthopedic conditions such as club foot, polio among others, was the same approach being used to manage recent complex disabilities.
Winneba (C/R), Oct. 4, GNA – A training programme for the rehabilitation of professionals working with children with Neurodevelopmental disabilities on Monday opened with a call for these professionals to look for a new approach to managing such disabilities
Mr Kees Van Den Broek, Former Director of Liliane Foundation, a Netherlands based organization, said the same approach that was used in the 80s to manage orthopedic conditions such as club foot, polio among others, was the same approach being used to manage recent complex disabilities.
He said: “There is the need for a different approach to managing neurodevelopmental disabilities, which focuses on the wellbeing of the child, the family, and centers on the role of parents”.
The training programme, the first of its kind, is hosted by the Salvation Army Ghana and Togo Territory in partnership with the University of Education, Winneba with support from Cerebral Palsy Africa.
Dr Colonel Samuel Amponsah, Territorial Commander of the Salvation Army Ghana, noted that there seems to be a shortage of competent rehabilitation specialists when it comes to managing some neurodevelopmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy.
He, therefore, lauded the training and urged participants to take the training seriously and endeavour to make a difference in the lives of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Captain Kwesi Eyi Acquah, Presiding Member of the Effutu Constituency who represented the Member of Parliament for the area Mr Alexander Afenyo -Markin, pledged the MP’s commitment and support towards children’s neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Major Agartha Essel, Director in charge of Medical, social, and community services at the Salvation Army, urged participants to be open minded to embrace the new thinking of the training officers.
Mrs Hannah Awadzi, Executive Director of the Special Mothers Project, said it was important that therapists and rehabilitation professionals embraced a new way of engaging parents in their approach to managing cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopmental conditions.
Ms Annelove Prempeh, Mother of an 18-year-old Lady with cerebral palsy shared her experiences with the participants
Mr Norden Botwe, Executive Director of SWEB Foundation, a disability-based non-governmental organization, who chaired the opening ceremony said the training programme was innovative.
He called on stakeholders to work together
Your daughter can be a finger model.
Fredricka is a young Ghanaian Lady in her teens. She is the first of four siblings, her mother Mabel said her daughter had neonatal jaundice, together with other conditions which she thinks doctors did not efficiently explain. She lives with Cerebral Palsy. In the words of her mother, I do not know where I haven’t gone to seek solutions for my daughter’s problem. In addition to going for physiotherapy sessions at the hospital, I tried alternative medicine, her mother said. At a point, I was on the verge of giving up but for the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy issues in Ghana.
The Special Mothers Project raised funds and set me up as a micro entrepreneur, I started business by selling ladies wigs and then bags and shoes. Now I have a shop where I sell my items in addition to doing a lot of online sales.
Fredricka’s condition does not allow me to work full time, but I am happy that with the support of the Special Mothers Project, I am earning an income to enable me also to contribute to home support. Doctors recently recommended that I fed Fredricka using the G-Tube. A tube inserted through the belly that enables direct feeding through the stomach. Fredricka was seriously underweight and looked far less than her age.
As Mabel was admiring her daughter, she shared a video of Fredricka to the Special Mothers Project to the administration of all. Many of the parents on the platform praised her for the very good work she has been doing on Fredricka. Some of the parents said, Fredricka has really sleek fingers and very beautiful hair too. Even though Fredricka needs massive support for her daily living, many on the Special Mothers Project WhatsApp platform believe that Fredricka can be a Finger Model. She can model different brand of rings, nail polish among other beauty items for some income. No child is useless as long as they have breath and it is important that people learn to include every child, especially children with disabilities. We must be conscious of their existence and deliberately include them.
To read more stories from Hannah Awadzi: www.specialmothers.org