Sharecare Ghana is an association of persons including several children with autoimmune and neurological conditions. We opened a rehabilitation centre in 2014 to provide physiotherapy, speech therapy and education to children with disability in a community in Osu, Accra, Ghana.
16 of the children receive direct support and we are looking for funds for 21 more children who attend the centre. 10 of the children can go to school if they are supported.
The children have cerebral palsy, hydrecephalus, Down’s Syndrome and trau,atic brain injury and are between the ages of three and 16. They are all from very deprived backgrounds.
Help us raise the funds and please spread the word: https://www.gofundme.com/22mbsqw4
Members of St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Legon, gave a big donation of food items and toiletries to the Sharecare Rehabilitation Centre on Holy Saturday (March 26th) as their Lenten season gift. The group spent time with Sharecare children and parents to know their progress and challenges. Sharecare is grateful for the generous gift and time spent with us.
Attendance: The number of children attending the Centre increased to 37 from 23 at the beginning of 2015. With this increase, there were two physiotherapists in attendance and the social workers followed up with home based care.
Sixteen of the children were supported by Liliane Foundation through SWEB Foundation.
Health: 20 of the children had health problems during the year and some were hospitalized for up to six weeks.
Joshua Tagoe aged 3 with Hydrocephalus underwent a series of medical tests in preparation for surgery at the Korle Bu Neuro Clinic. He went into crisis on 26thAugust and was rushed to the Police Hospital because of the doctors’ strike at Korle Bu. He was discharged on 30th August, unfortunately, died on 31st August and was buried the same day with the assistance of the Assemblyman.
Education: Of the 16 children being supported by Liliane Foundation through SWEB Foundation, four are in mainstream schools including one, who is is a boarder at the Akropong School for the Blind. Elizabeth Brock was promoted to KG 2 and her performance was encouraging. Ruth O. Otoo participated in the school’s Africa Day Celebration.
Micheal Donyo’s placement in school was deferred to 2016 because of poor health.
World Cerebral Palsy Day was observed with dental screening and treatment in collaboration with the University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry.
The Centre participated in a day’s seminar organised by the All African Disability Centre in Tema Community 2. Three families joined in the annual retreat by Joni & Friends from USA at Abokobi.
Marvin Nii Odoi Yemofio celebrated his 5th birthday at the Centre with other children, staff and parents.
A Christmas party was organized on 24th December with drinks sponsored by Kasapreko and a walk took place on December 26th to end the year’s activities.
Dancing at Christmas party
Parents’ Support Group: A parents’ support group has been formed by parents of Sharecare children. The group met with a team from SWEB Foundation led by the CEO to discuss the outcome of research carried out in which the daily activities of their children were photographed. The group decided to start a day care programme and income generating activity – liquid soap making..
On 24th November, 2015 the group met a team from SWEB and YEBEGO of the Netherlands and presented a proposal for the planned activities and samples of the liquid soap.
Donations: Owing to the awareness creation and advocacy an opinion leader in the community donated electricity credit to the Centre for three months as his contribution towards the Centre’s activities. The MacCarthy family whose child passed away after a health challenge, donated physio equipment worth eight thousand pounds (₤8000) to the Centre. KATASolar Ltd. installed a solar system for the Centre’s lighting with a promise to cover the fans and other equipment in due course. Aviation Alliance enabled seven children to attend the Centre for their therapy.
A number of individuals include Nana Perbi gave cash donations towards Mercy Holm’s planned surgery. United Way Ghana donated furniture to the Centre.
Internship and field work: Nine students from three universities – University of Ghana, KNUST and University College of Education, Winneba – interned at the Centre.
They were assigned to families and saw to the registration and renewal of the children’s NHIS cards, 2% District Assembly Common Fund and assisted parents to take their wards to hospital. Sharecare gave them gifts of appreciation on their last day.
A number of visitors also walked in to volunteer time with the children.
Others: Mercy Holm, aged 3, suffered Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) through a stampede at the Independence Square. Her condition was delicate and needed urgent attention. This compelled Sharecare to raise funds for an MRI test which may lead to surgery.
The Centre recorded two deaths; one a care giver and the other a child. They have both been buried.
As part of partnership with government agencies, Zone ‘B’ of the Social Welfare Department visited the Centre to encourage parents in their tasks and what they are doing for their children.
Challenges: The Centre has insufficient assertive devices which would help the children with home-based care. This lack is evident during the feeding of the children. Other devices like gaiters, corner seats, parallel bars and standing frame are also needed.
Successes: Although there have been challenges, some improvements in the children were seen by their parents.
Ephraim can now control his neck over two minutes and roll over.
Marvin can now control his neck for five minutes, relax his fingers and can also roll himself.
Nii Darko is trying to walk when given support and also to wash himself when asked to.
Yaw Oteng is making steps in a hurried manner.
Enam Vondee is trying to eat by herself.
Oswald made a significant improvement.
Emmanuel Donkor can now move with a walker.
Appreciation: The Centre Manager, staff and physiotherapists thank all mothers who through their commitment made these gains, although it wasn’t easy. Thanks go also to the therapists who through their love, encouragement and respect they have for the parents and children helped to achieve these successes.
We say a big thank you to SWEB Foundation, Liliane Foundation, Aviation Alliance, United Way Ghana, Sharecare management and other organizations and individuals that have brought us this far.
On October 7 2015, the head of the Department of Community and Preventive Dentistry of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Ghana, and graduate students educated Sharecare members and students of the Accra Rehabilitation Centre on dental health and did free screening.
The 4 hour exercise was highly patronized and appreciated by those who attended. Sharecare is grateful to the School of Medicine and Dentistry for performing this service free of charge. God bless you all.
Nana Akwasi Awuah, a legal practitioner and social activist, says making derogatory remarks about persons with disability (PWDs) could attract a fine of Gh¢600 or three months imprisonment or both.
He therefore advised the public to be very cautious in their dealings with PWDs and endeavour to treat them well.
Mr. Awuah gave this advice when he met with members of Sharecare Ghana, an association of people with autoimmune and neurological conditions, to educate them on their rights.
Citing section 37 of the disability law, Mr. Awuah emphasized that it is an offence to use a person’s disability to insult him or her and make derogatory remarks about the person.
“A Person shall not call a person with disability derogatory names because of the person’s disability,” he said urging people with disability to test the law in that direction, since that could deter people from engaging in such unacceptable behaviour.
“A person who commits such an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or both,” he added.
On education, the lawyer said, heads of schools should not refuse children with disability admission, since that is also an offence.
He read the relevant portion of the constitution to members: “A person responsible for admission into a school or any learning institution shall not refuse to give admission on account of disability, unless the disability has been assessed by the Ministry responsible for Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.”
Some mothers of children with Cerebral Palsy complained that their children had been refused admission in some public schools on account of their disability and felt helpless
Some of the mothers also said their children are given derogatory names such as “children of the river god” (Nsuo Ba) and expressed readiness to test the law to deter the public from such behavior.
Ms Farida Bedwei, a member of Sharecare who has Cerebral Palsy, and is a software engineer, called for efficient assessment centres for children with disabilities to enable the parents to know whether their children should attend a special school or a regular school.
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Aviation Alliance (AAL) has started monthly donations of Gh¢500 to Sharecare Ghana as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The donations which started in February 2015 are going towards mobile physiotherapy for Sharecare children who are unable to go to the therapeutic centre because of limited mobility and/or financial difficulties.
Sharecare Ghana opened the therapeutic centre in Osu in May last year, but home bound children outside the community have not been able to attend. The organization thought up the mobile physio concept for the children who would greatly benefit from physiotherapy but have no access to it.
Six families are benefitting from AAL’s support for which Sharecare is sincerely grateful.