Speakers at the Cerebral Palsy march have urged government to set up a registry, which would assist to keep record of the number of children living with the condition.
The cerebral palsy march was held on Saturday morning organised by Brave Heart Organisation.
Following the march, Dr Orapeleng Puswane Katse who was the chief walker on the day said many children have the condition, but their parents have not come out because of the stereotype and cultural beliefs associated with the condition. She said because of this, many children with the condition have missed out on getting education and receiving better health services.
Katse challenged government to give attention to the cerebral palsy the same way as HIV/AIDS, and provide support structures for people with the condition.
“These people are differently able. We need the cerebral palsy registry because it would assist in planning and resource allocation. We need specialists and schools. These children need to get the same education that every young Motswana is receiving,” she said.
She said it is very expensive to care for a
Kgalalelo Bonno, mother to seven-year-old Faith Bonno, who lives with the condition said it has been a rough road for them. Bonno stated that while she has accepted her child, she is heartbroken by some people who still believe that the condition is caused by parents who would have gone against tradition during pregnancy or immediately after birth.
“We didn’t do anything wrong as parents. This is a medical condition. Batho ba re ha ngwana a ntse jaana o a bo o mo toletse diphatsana, which is wrong. We love our children so we can’t deliberately hurt them. The society should stop blaming us, but (instead) support us,” Bonno said.
Bonno stated that she has spent a lot of money taking her daughter to physiotherapists. She bemoaned the lack of proper structures for children with cerebral palsy.