Experiences of Mothers of Children Born with Celebral Palsy in Oshana Region: Namibia

  •  Sankombo Marian    
  •  Emmanuel Magesa    
  •  Nakakuwa Fillipine    


Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child's brain is under development. This type of birth defects, pose a public health concern to the society, immediate family members and individual parents. The parents’ expectations to have a normal child becomes a nightmare when the child they were expecting is born with cerebral palsy. Therefore, revealing the experiences of mothers of children born with Cerebral Palsy is important in the process of finding ways to support these mothers and their children. The study explores and describes the experience of mothers of children with cerebral palsy. A qualitative approach following phenomenological, explorative and descriptive design was used to explore and reveal the experiences of mothers of children with Cerebral Palsy. The population for this particular study consisted of mothers of children with cerebral palsy in Oshana region and a sample was drawn from this population using purposive sampling method. Data were collected through indepth interview with 12 (twelve) mothers. The transcribed interviews and narratives from the research notes were organised into codes, main themes and sub-themes. Mothers were shocked, worried and were in the state of disbelief when they learnt about the condition of their children. They felt guilty about the child’s disability and blamed themselves as the reason for the disability of their children. They were traumatized by a family member or spouse who failed to accept the child with cerebral palsy. In order to alleviate the psychological stress, trauma, pain and disappointments, it is of utmost importance to develop an educational support program in the form of a stress coping framework to support these mothers to cope with the high stress levels. centers where they can overcome their psychological problem. There is a need for a coordinating body or counselling centers where parents of children with cerebral palsy should be referred after the final diagnosis is made to give appropriate direction and couselling to these parents, thus reducing stress levels.  

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