Skills Development Foundation for Celebrate Palsy [Archives:2007/1087/Reportage]

September 20 2007
Physical therapy is an important part of the services provided by the foundation.
Physical therapy is an important part of the services provided by the foundation.
Cerebral Palsy is a dangerous disease that seriously affects children with respect to their ability to control muscle development. It is thus vital that generosity take hold in cooperation to help those infected.

The following is an interview that Ismail Al-Ghabri from Yemen Times conducted with Mrs. Neven Al-Kaff, the executive manager of Skills Development Foundation for Cerebral Palsy.

How do children join this foundation?

First, they bring the child to the foundation. The specialized physician diagnoses the case. The executive manager prescribes the medication the child needs until the age of fourteen. Furthermore, we offer medical assistance as well as give poor families money for transportation.

On what does the foundation depend?

The foundation receives support from the Handicapped Fund which contributes 2 percent. Businessmen also contribute 10 percent of our funds. Many of our board of directors are traders.

When did you establish it?

The establishment was officially opened in March, 2006, in cooperation with the Middle East Center.

How many children does the foundation take?

There are 75 children, both male and female, who attend the foundation regularly.

Does the foundation do other activities outside the secretariat?

We have future plans. However, now we are working only in this center. It is still new. But we have plans to open centers in the other governorates.

Are the employees Yemeni nationals?

They are Yemeni nationals. At the beginning there was a foreign specialist. Furthermore, foreigners will be working in the center when expanded.

Do you have any relations with other technical establishments?

We have good relations with similar humanitarian foundations', such as childhood foundations. We are mainly supported by the Handicapped Fund. We also have relations with the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Do you have any media plans to introduce the foundation?

We will have a media plan in the future. We are concerned about delivering humanitarian and medication services for children infected with CP.

Is there any humanitarian situation by which you are influenced?

We have a young girl of 13 years of age, who is infected with cerebral palsy. The father gave his daughter excessive doses of medicine in an effort to kill her. I was sadly moved by this news. I went to the mother and told her that we will give her money to bring her daughter here.

Are there expanding projects of the foundation?

Of course, we have future projects. We will purchase a piece of land to build a special school for infected children. We are serious about expanding the foundation. It is the main goal of the foundation director, Mr. Aidarous Ba-Zara'h.

How do you qualify infected children?

Infected children are physically qualified. We train them to move their hands and legs properly. They use their hands in a way that helps them move. We build their mental and cognitive capacities.

Do you teach them how to speak?

We teach only those who can speak. Yet we find some difficulties in this respect.

We do not use electricity or water to treat them.

Why do children get infected with this disease?

Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Abu-Bakr answered this question saying: there are three reasons behind getting infected with this disease. These causes appeared before, during and after delivery. Before delivery, mothers have had medicines during pregnancy. Furthermore, she might be exposed to German measles or toxoplasmosis.

Moreover, the most important reason was a lack of oxygen. 99 percent of the received children suffered from deficiency of oxygen.

However, after delivery children may get infected with bile or with meningitis fever or malnutrition due to lack of healthy and hygienic food.

How does one protect children from cerebral palsy?

Prevention starts right from the beginning of pregnancy. Pregnant mothers should take care of themselves. They should have good nutrition. They should also avoid chewing Qat and smoking. Furthermore, delivery must take place is a clean envirorment.

Do you train mothers at the foundation?

One of the ways of natural treatment is training the family. Training is the first objective of the foundation. The family is required to receive training so as to participate in treating the infected child. It is not enough for the child to stay in the foundation without the participation of his/her family.

How many children are registered at the foundation?

We have 221 male and female children. 75 of them are regular. We receive children according to their age categories. The majority of them are between ages six months and four years. The second category ranges from four years to nine years. The third category is from 10 years to 14 and 15 years old. However, the majority is from one year to four or five years.