Friday, May 24, 2024
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Brunei Town

Let’s talk about cerebral palsy

James Kon

“Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that requires our attention and only by raising awareness will we be able to achieve inclusion. Awareness brings acceptance, which in turn paves the way for an inclusive society. Building an inclusive society is our collective responsibility.”

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MoH) cum guest of honour Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin highlighted this during the opening of the Cerebral Palsy Awareness Fun Day and Exhibition yesterday. Organised by the MoH in collaboration with the Wonder Kids Community, the event was held at the Child Development Centre (CDC)in Kampong Kiarong.

“The first phase of a Wonder Kids Community-public survey suggested that only 58.6 per cent of respondents were familiar with the medical condition, while 20 per cent were unsure of the challenges faced by cerebral palsy sufferers. The findings indicate that public awareness on the subject is still low,” Wonder Kids Community representative Farah Khairol Asmiee said.

The Wonder Kids Community Project by six medical students from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) comes under the Special Study (Module 3), aimed at deepening medical knowledge and providing opportunities to give back to society.

“Cerebral palsy is a condition that happens to a child while still in the womb or after birth, and it has the potential to influence the lives of the child and the family. The event today looks to enhance public awareness on cerebral palsy, encourage acceptance and increase the quality of treatment and care,” Farah said.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin delivers his speech. PHOTO: JAMES KON

Parents and guardians exchanged views and personal experience in caring for loved ones afflicted by the medical condition. The day included a workshop and lecture at the CDC and Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam, a forum, short documentary and an exhibition.

Meanwhile, Haji Maswadi highlighted that the project helps further strengthen unity between the public and differently-abled individuals.

“Wonder Kids is one of the steps towards achieving Brunei Vision 2035’s second goal of having a high quality of life. This is with particular regard to the fourth key area of providing high quality public utilities and infrastructure, which stresses on the construction of shared-use facilities such as libraries and computer labs on the ground floor, making them accessible to students with physical disabilities. Similarly, at recreation centres and playgrounds, it would be good if the facilities could also be used by children with disabilities.

“Meanwhile, the seventh key area focusses on having a united and inclusive community, coupled with sustainable social security. This aligns with Wonder Kids’ primary objective of raising cerebral palsy awareness, which will eventuate in inclusivity and help achieve a high quality of life among the population,” Haji Maswadi said.

High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Brunei Darussalam Nahida Rahman Shumona, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the MoH Dr Ang Swee Hui, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Management) at the MoH Dr Hajah Anie Haryani binti Haji Abdul Rahman, Dean of Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSB IHS) Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Dr Zaw Wint, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital Ophthalmologist Consultant Dr Hajah Helena binti Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Jaya Dato Paduka Haji Hurairah, Impian Project founder Lailatul Zubaidah binti Haji Mohd Hussain as well as representatives from Pusat Ehsan and Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC) also attended.