Depok-Fifteen children with cerebral palsy–aged 4 to 14 years–gathered that day at a house in the Ciganjur area, accompanied by their mother, also their parents and siblings. The children’s parents listened carefully to the explanation given by Elsa Roselina, a lecturer at the Vocational Education Program at the Universitas Indonesia (UI). After Elsa delivered her presentation, physiotherapy treatment was carried out by Aditya Denny Pratama (a lecturer in the Physiotherapy Program) and occupational therapy by Hermito Gidion (a lecturer in the Occupational Therapy Study Program), Dini Fajariani, and Cahya Ramadani Renhoran.
This activity is a form of community service carried out by the UI Vocational Education Program lecturers. As the head of community service, Elsa delivered material focused on monitoring the children health with cerebral palsy during the Covid-19 pandemic. The educational materials provided include the introduction of general danger signs in children, how to identify shortness of breath in children, diarrhea and the introduction of dehydration signs in children, also things that should be the focus of attention when a child has a fever.
Cerebral palsy is a disease that causes disturbances in body movement and coordination. It is caused by impaired brain development, which usually occurs when the child is still in the womb. This brain development disorder can also occur during childbirth or the first two years after birth.
Community service activities are carried out on Sunday, December 5, 2021, carried out in an integrative manner, consisting of hospital administration, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. The goal is to improve the ability of families to care for children with cerebral palsy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are very grateful for the activities carried out. With this program, parents have knowledge about children’s health and the therapy that must be done in a pandemic. Hopefully activities like this can continue,” said the Head of the Cerebral Palsy Home Community (RCP), South Jakarta, who is usually called Mama Baim. RCP is a community forum for parents with children with cerebral palsy.
When the community service, the physiotherapy and occupational therapy staff personally handles children with cerebral palsy, preceded by an initial assessment of the therapeutic needs based on the type of cerebral palsy of the child. Then, the parents concerned receive education for training or providing stimulus that needs to be done at home.
“Along with health education activities and improving skills in training children’s motor skills, we hope that efforts to monitor the health of children with cerebral palsy during this pandemic can be further improved,” said Elsa.