“She could not sit. She could not talk. Her movement was very limited and she was sick all of the time.
She had a very weak neck because of the extra weight from the fluid on her brain, due to Hydrocephalus”, explains Joe, the AfriKids project manager who has become close to Josephine's family over the recent years.
When Josephine's parents heard about the specialist AfriKids-run clinic for children with disabilities, they began to bring her every week. She was first assessed and then a support plan was put in place by experienced community rehabilitation worker, William. William has specific experience working with children living with cerebral palsy and has been supporting AfriKids' work for a number of years now. He provides critical, tailored support for each child, including weekly massage therapy to keep their skin supple and help joints stay mobile.
William explains how he also works with parents.
“The parents, I always teach them how to do the [massage] training at home. Most of the mothers now know what they are doing.”
Each child is provided with bespoke disability equipment to support them on their journey to sitting and standing. Every month, William assess whether the child needs a new frame as they grow bigger. The equipment is crafted out of local materials, such as cardboard and cassava flour, which are easily available and affordable.
“We teach them how they can be using the sitting devices and the standing frames. Each child is having one of each. We make them here and give it to them.”