Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Childhood Disabilities and Interventions
Back on February 25 (wow, where has the time gone?!), we had a meeting where we discussed some of the common disabilities, illnesses, and health conditions in Ghana. Obviously, AIDS is at the top of the list but I was surprised to learn that conditions such as Polio still affect children across the country. Stacey informed us that we are probably going to see children and adults with lasting after-effects of Polio and other seemingly simple fixes such as a child with Cerebral Palsy suffering from contractures (something that is avoided in the U.S. by splinting and proper use) or decubitus ulcers from lying in a bed or sitting in a wheelchair (something we would combat in the U.S. with pressure relief strategies and position-changes). It baffles me to think that we have access to vaccinations against diseases that are all but eradicated here in the states, but where we're going access to these vaccines, much less access to a medical facility, are considered luxuries (if they're considered at all). So much of what we're trying to do when we go to Ghana is to educate people about how they can help themselves and others around them. I only hope we can make a lasting difference on the people we encounter!