Giving birth to children with disabilities not a curse- 1st VP’s  wife  

Parents and members of the public have been urged to shun misconception that giving birth to children with disabilities is a curse.

“All our children are  equal, they need love and care including those born with some complications,” said Ms Zainab Kombo Shaib, the wife of Zanzibar’s First Vice President Othman Masoud  here when she visited care centre for children with Hydrocephalus  and Spina bifida at Mwanakwerekwe area, Unguja West ‘B’ District.

According to experts, Hydrocephalus is an abnormal buildup of fluid in the ventricles (cavities) deep within the brain, while Spina bifida is a birth defect in which an area of the spinal column doesn’t form properly, leaving a section of the spinal cord and spinal nerves exposed through an opening in the back.

Ms Shaib  who  is also a  Chairperson    for  Nuru  Foundation  said  Hydrocephalus and Spina bifida and other health  conditions  can be treated, and also children born with different types of disabilities can be supported and enjoy life  like other children.

Doctors aren’t certain what causes spinabifida, it is thought to result from a combination of genetic, nutritional and environmental risk factors, such as a family history of neural tube defects and folate (vitamin B-9) deficiency.

According to health experts, possible causes of hydrocephalus include bleeding inside the brain – for example, if blood leaks over the surface of the brain (subarachnoid haemorrhage), blood clots in the brain (venous thrombosis); meningitis – an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord; brain tumours and head injury.

Ms  Zainab also reminded  male partners  to be close to their wives especially during pregnancy, provide  support to expectant mothers, and show love  to them until they give birth .

The wife of the First Vice President said here that accepting and raising a child with disabilities required education and awareness of parents, family members, and members of community to minimize stigma, and misconceptions.

She promised that her organization will continue to provide support in educating the public by soliciting funds, purchase equipment and promote psychological support to mothers or a family with children with complications or disability.

She reminded the community to adopt health eating culture which is crucial for the health of pregnant mother and the growth of the baby starting from the womb.

The Secretary of the association; children born with Hydrocephalus or Spina bifida, Mr Hussein Moh’dSaleh thanked the foundation for the support.

“We thank President Hussein Mwinyi and his government, and other development partners for providing the centre with some needs such as pampers, increased awareness, food, professionals and writing projects.”

Some mothers with children with Hydrocephalus or Spina bifida explained the challenges they get from the community members including stigma in the family, neighbors, and children are given bad names, and also divorce from husbands.

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