Tumble Form chairs for mothers of babies with microcephaly
DPI, Guyana, Friday, October 26, 2018
Through a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Ministry of Public Health, six Tumble-Form chairs were handed over to mothers, whose babies were born with Zika related microcephaly. This followed collaborations between the Ministry of Public Health and UNICEF.
Tumble Form chairs used in pediatric rehabilitation, are essentially positioning chairs for children with developmental disabilities. The chairs help support leg extension and reduce extensor thrust. They are ideal floor-sitters designed for children, to support fine motor skills and activities.
According to specifications, the comfortable padded chair allows the child to sit for long periods of time. One size fits most children with a maximum height of 60 inches (152cm). The chair is washable, stain resistant and non-toxic to a child’s health.
Director of Rehabilitation Services, Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Ariane Mangar explained that these chairs will benefit the child through infancy and older.
“The child can literally grow with the chair. It provides head support and it helps the child with their balance and to sit independently which will help with their food digestion. It will also help them attain their various milestones as they get older.”
Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings detailed that after initial reports of babies born with microcephaly in Guyana, “the Ministry of (Public) Health was proactive as we met with several partnering ministries and drafted an action plan to strategically deal with this”
In this regard she said, her ministry remains committed to providing the necessary support needed by mother and family in the upbringing of children born with microcephaly while they work to ensure that babies all across Guyana have universal access to equitable health care.
Acting Maternal and Child Health Officer, Dr. Oneka Scott noted that this contribution is part of a larger effort by the ministry to support these children and their mothers.
“It has been quite the experience over the past two years working with the mothers and their children and this is just one of some of the most fulfilling things that the ministry has embarked on.” the MCH officer said.
“In the past we have done training for the mothers, we have had sensitisation sessions, we have had support for medical billing for those mothers who live out of Georgetown, we have had individual rehab sessions, we visited the homes of some of the mothers and showed the mothers how to do the exercises.”
While making note of the work done to engage mothers, Dr. Scott added that a proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Social Protection for a review and possible increase of public assistance available to the mothers.
“Our proposal for our mothers to receive an additional ‘top up’ in the public assistance to what they are already receiving is done, submitted and is resting with the Ministry of Finance…We do know there are needs, we do know that there are actual tangible needs like milk and pampers and other supplies and we (Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Social Protection) are looking to assist you, mothers.”
Image: Kennyann Bacchus.