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Cerebral paralysis incidence surges in Takhar children


Cerebral paralysis incidence surges in Takhar children

Oct 25, 2017 - 18:57

TALOQAN (Pajhwok): As many as 600 children have been born with ‘Cerebral Palsy’ during the ongoing year in northeastern Takhar province, say public health officials.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a blanket term for several disorders that affect normal, healthy movement.

Cerebral palsy (commonly referred to as CP) affects normal movement in different parts of the body and has many degrees of severity.

Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the fetal or infant brain. It occurs when there is neurological damage before, during, or within five years of birth that prevents the brain from developing properly.

Takhar Public Health Director Hafeezullah Sapi on Wednesday told Pajhwok Afghan News CP disorder among children hit an all-time high this year in the province compared to the past.  

According to him, about 575 children were diagnosed with the disease this solar year but the figure was 422 last year. “This is what we have registered; the actual number of children suffering from CP might be higher than this.”

He said there was no medication for CP, but it can be avoided through prevention. Sapi blamed the increased level of CP on lack of attention to pregnant women.

About the topic, physiotherapy in-charge at the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), Dr. Huma Azimi, told Pajhwok CP was an increasing phenomenon in Takhar.

“Taking medicines arbitrarily by women during pregnancy, unhealthy diet, and head injuries sustained, lack of oxygen to the brain before, during or after birth (asphyxia), medical negligence by midwife and sever fever after delivery are some common reasons that result in CP among children.”

Due to negligence of mothers expecting baby, many children are born with CP.

Another physiotherapist of SCA, Dr. Mohammad Rahman, said there was no cure for cerebral palsy, but exercise therapy can help manage symptoms and increase independence.

He said the physical therapy gave positive results if the cerebral impaired babies were treated in the first six months after their birth.

The most common signs of cerebral palsy are problems associated with movement on one side of body, stiff muscles, exaggerated or jerky reflexes, involuntary movements or tremors, lack of coordination and balance, drooling, problems in swallowing or sucking, difficulty in speech (dysarthria) and others, he added.

“We try our best to help such children and prevent their disease from becoming serious. We can at least help enable them to take part in daily activities.”

He said families should give care to pregnant women. “They should be rushed to doctors during illness and do not allow them to do heavy work and also provide a healthy diet to them.”

Meanwhile, a resident of Chashmai Sheer area of Taloqan, the provincial capital, Fatima, whose daughter is infected with the disease, said: “I fell unconscious once during pregnancy while doing heavy physical work.”

“My delivery was easy but my baby got seriously sick after birth. My child suffered from serious fever and was diagnosed with Hepatitis. After a long time, I realized that my infant couldn’t sit and even she couldn’t move. When we went to a doctor, he told me that my child is suffering from CP.”

Takhar Public Health department officials say public awareness programs have been launched for preventing and reducing the level of the disease in the province.