World Cerebral Palsy Day (WCPD) is observed on 6th October every year. WCPD provides an opportunity to: express pride for the lives and achievements of those with cerebral palsy (CP), and the people and the organizations that support them; create a powerful voice for persons affected with CP to change their surroundings; connect organizations across the globe concerned with this problem: create social change and education campaigns; raise awareness at a local, national and international level; produce tangible actions and outcomes to improve lives of people with CP.
All around the world, people and communities are adapting to big changes caused by COVID-19. People with cerebral palsy have the capability in dealing with change, breaking down barriers, and coming up with creative solutions their whole lives.
The day in 2021 comes with a campaign message “Millions of Reasons”. There are millions of reasons to bring people’s attention to create awareness and action around cerebral palsy. Every person living with cerebral palsy is a reason to help create a more accessible future for them.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination.
There are more than 17 million people living with cerebral palsy (CP) in the world. CP is the most common physical disability in childhood. It primarily affects movement, but people with CP may also have visual, learning, hearing, speech, epilepsy and intellectual impairments and the impact can range from a weakness in muscles to almost a complete lack of voluntary movement. It is a complex disability: 1 in 4 children with CP cannot talk, 1 in 4 cannot walk (60% are independent ambulators, 10 % walk with an aid, 30% use a wheelchair), 1 in 2 have an intellectual disability, and 1 in 4 has epilepsy. CP is a lifelong disability and there is no known cure.
Can cerebral palsy be prevented?
While complete prevention is not yet possible, few things that can be done to reduce the chances of a child developing CP:
India Newborn Action Plan: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India has made a provision for prevention, early diagnosis and management of birth defects under India Newborn Action Plan (INAP), 2014 along with basic mother and child care*.
Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) by MoHFW, GOI is an important initiative aiming at early identification and early intervention for children from birth to 18 years to cover 4 ‘D’s viz. Defects at birth, Deficiencies, Diseases, Development delays including disability.**