Cost of drugs, major challenge to patients

Patients suffering from cerebral palsy continue to be disadvantaged following high cost of drugs coupled with lack of facilities to manage the disease.

Parents whose minors are suffering from the disease are now calling on the national government to zero-rate the drugs and equipment used to support the ailing minors.

This emerged during a sensitization walk in Naivasha town by parents whose children suffer from the rare condition that affects the brain after birth.

According to the occupational therapy officer at the Naivasha sub-county hospital, Mwangi Mahinda, the cost of some of the drugs and special wheel chairs was very high making the minors who come from poor families to suffer as they underwent therapy.

In the last one year we have received around 40 special wheel chairs with one going for sh30, 000 and many of the families cannot afford this, he said.

But on a positive note, Mahinda noted that cases of cerebral palsy in Naivasha were on the decline due to safe birth occasioned by intensive awareness campaigns.

Majority of the cases occur during child birth but with the introduction of free maternity services we have seen the number of reported cases drop reasonably, he said.

The chairperson Naivasha Cerebral Palsy Support group, Beatrice Mwangi said that they had decided to embark on awareness campaigns to inform the world that the condition was not a curse.

Mwangi further said that the group had 80 members adding that there was need for the county government to construct special classes where they could leave their minors as they worked.

The high cost of drugs used in dealing with this condition is a major concern and we are calling on parents whose children suffer from this condition to stop hiding them, she said.

A mother, Esther Wanjiku, whose three children suffer from the disease told her ordeal in bringing up the children saying feeding, clothing and even housing them was a major challenge and appealed for help from well-wishers.

Source: Kenya News Agency