By Medreen Aliviza
Carol Emoyo commonly known as mama Bahati a mother of 3, her second son Bahati is living with Cerebral Palsy. He was diagnose when he was six months. Carol says she had a smooth pregnancy but after 6months her son was diagnosed with meningitis at Kenyatta National Hospital which was treated for two months. After the treatment journey Bahati was never the same again. Part of his brain was damaged.
Cerebral Palsy occurred at a rate of 3.6 cases per 1,000 children. Spastic Cerebral Palsy was the most common form, accounting for 76.9 percent of all cases. This study includes Cerebral Palsy acquired after birth.
“Bahati who is 11 years old depends on me for everything ,I bath him ,I feed him, I have to be there for him in everything I literally baby sit him’’, said Carol.
Carol added that she has so many challenges including, insufficient Money for the therapy which costs her Ksh600 per session. He has four sessions every week. Getting pampers for Bahati is another bigger issue to her because his son uses 4 of them in a day or even more, Getting special diet for his son and also providing for the other children’s basic needs. She also narrates how she is facing stigma from the society. Her husband got tired and started abandoning the child.
The main Challenge she talked about is lack of enough schools for children with Cerebral Palsy in Kenya.
According to Lilian Komo a teacher at Waithaka special school and centre, said the children with disability need care just like any other.
‘’They can became great people in the society if supported, accepted and trained as other children’’, said Carol.
She Added ‘’the government always talks of inclusivity but we cannot see it in children with Cerebral Palsy ,if the government can include them in every Opportunity any other child is getting it can of great help’’.
Globally, cerebral palsy affects around 1.5 and 4 out of every 1,000 live births. There are no official statistics on the prevalence of cerebral palsy in Kenya, but some experts estimate that about three in every 100 children in the country currently live with the condition.
Edited By Kamadi Amata