Over 400 individuals diagnosed with cerebral palsy are registered with the Child Development Centre (CDC), which means over 400 families are dealing with the disorder by providing the patients with care and education, ensuring health, development and social function while encouraging them to be independent. Thus, it requires a change in lifestyle to cope with the situation which may be challenging as it affects the quality of life.
These comments were made by Head of CDC Dr Hajah Mawarni binti Haji Abdul Hamid during the opening ceremony of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Fun Day and Exhibition at the centre in Kampong Kiarong yesterday, attended by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin as the guest of honour.
She said there are children with cerebral palsy needing equipment to move while there are some who can walk on flat surface but cannot use the stairs, adding that “there are also some children needing assistance in activities of any kind”.
Dr Hajah Mawarni highlighted the resilience of people with different abilities, notably the recent prize presentation ceremony of the National Al-Quran Reading Competition for Adults for 1443 Hijrah/2022 featuring two children showcasing their ability in memorising Al-Quran and its Tafsir.
“One of them – Nur Syahwa Syakhila binti Muhammad Sabhan – is visually-impaired while another – Muhammad Naja Hudia Afifurrahman Agusfian – has cerebral palsy. They prove that children with good education possess unlimited potential. For Muhammad Naja, his mother exposed him to Al-Quran recitations when he was in the womb. Their participation showed that Brunei Darussalam is an inclusive country,” she said.
Dr Hajah Mawarni said building an inclusive community is the responsibility of all individuals and it starts with awareness. She congratulated Wonder Kids for the success of its project to provide knowledge and raise awareness on cerebral palsy.
She said building an inclusive community needs the involvement of several parties – the Ministry of Education (MoE), Community Development Department (JAPEM) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Ministry of Development (MoD) and other ministries as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector – to play their roles.
“Parents need the support from all parties to ensure the best care for their children.” Besides focussing on reducing child mortality, the CDC takes measures to ensure the children and their families can enjoy the best quality of life. “This directly raises the quality of life for the future generations in line with the Brunei Vision 2035 and achieving United Nations Millennium Development Goals.”