Yaounde: CBCHS trains health workers, parents on management of children with disabilities.

Participants immortalise workshop with family photo

The Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services, CBCHS, is currently organising a training workshop on the proper management and rehabilitation of children with severe impairment who require special needs and care.

The workshop, launched in Yaounde May 27, will last for one week. it will wrap up June 1, with attestations handed to participants. It is being held at the CBCHS Resource Centre at Mvan, Yaounde. 

It is organised as part of the Empowerment and Disability Inclusive Development Program, EDID, with the support of the Liliane Foundation. 



Participants at the workshop include rehabilitation workers from Togo and Cameroon, as well as parents with impaired children.

Speaking at the launch of the workshop, CBCHS Projects Director, Prof Tih Pius Muffih, expressed enthusiasm as host of the workshop in which participants will brainstorm on methods and solutions on the effective management of children with neurological conditions.

He highlighted that over the years, with learning and research, clear treatment methods have been established for handling conditions such as mobility, vision, hearing, and speech impairments. 

However, the management of other conditions like cerebral palsy, autism, hydrocephalus, and microcephaly are still problematic and health workers on the field continue to struggle with how to handle these complex conditions due to their limited skills.

“Because people do not know how to take proper care of these impaired children, they sometime neglect them or use traditional methods of taking care of them, notably massage or surgery, whereas they need occupational care and therapy in the community,” the Projects Director said.

Prof Tih added that CBCHS has been able to train its staff on occupational and physiotherapy, which is working well as far as these children are concerned.

He said that is why CBCHS decided to invite other health workers from different communities and outside the country, notably from Togo, to imbibe them with these skills so they can take care of these children in a better way, a way that meets their needs.

CBCHS Projects Director, Prof Tih Pius Muffih, launching the workshop

 

 

“Parents suffer a lot because they do not know how to take care of the children. We have as aim to help train them with basic skills necessary for conditions like cerebral palsy and others,” Prof Tih said.

He added that the workshop facilitators will use a new technic known as the Support Tools Enabling Parents, STEP, approach.

Prof Tih said the approach will help parents take care of the children without the need for surgery, massage or traditional methods. The STEP approach is a non-technical method.

 

About STEP

As explained by one of the facilitators of the workshop, Fanfon Timothy, the STEP approach is a parent centric approach used to handle children with severe neurological disabilities.

With this approach, emphasis is laid on the parents because the children suffering from these conditions do not know they have problems, hence the burden is more on the parents and the family.

The old approach focuses on the child, trying to cure the disability, but with STEP, the care that the child receives from care givers is central. The care givers are trained on how to better integrate the child in the family.