After more than a year of battling to transport her
physically challenged child, Lindiwe Mashini (33) from Bluegum View section in
Duduza has finally received a special purpose-built pram – or “bakkie” as they
are termed, from Pholosong Hospital.
Mashini, who applied for the vehicle in June last year, received a
call from the hospital earlier this month, letting her know that she can come
and collect a "Madiba bakkie" for her three-year-old son. The child was born with
hydrocephalus – more commonly known as water on the brain.
A very broad spectrum condition
"I was very excited and happy when I received the call
because we have been waiting since last year. At least now I can travel
everywhere. Before I had to hire transport or carry him because he cannot walk
and he is very heavy," said the excited mother.
According to occupational therapist Connie Selepe who works at
Pholosong, the Madiba bakkies are generally issued for children with cerebral palsy
that have positioning difficulties, because the bakkie helps to balance the
"Cerebral palsy is a very broad spectrum condition with many
different features. The most common one is uncontrolled movements, where the
neurology is affected. Some children you will find that they have a very decreased
or increased tone, so when you position the child on a bakkie it helps to
improve and normalise the tone so that the child does not grow up severely
deformed," she explained.
Improving socialisation skills
"The children with increased tone have knee joint issues and
the bakkie helps because a child cannot walk with crisscrossed legs. The
parents are able to position the child on the bakkie when feeding them, and for
instance if you are going to the shops or travelling short distances. The
bakkie also helps to improve the socialisation skills of the child because even
the neighbouring children develop a way of playing with them."
Selepe says the hospital has issued out 12 Madiba bakkies since
January this year, and the hospital has enough stock for the area.
"I would like to encourage other parents to come and collect
the bakkies,” she said. – Health-e News.
Image credit: Health-e News