Sidra Medicine Celebrates World Cerebral Palsy Day


QF Entity urges community to join the movement to help create awareness on cerebral palsy in Qatar

A member of Qatar Foundation, marked World Cerebral Palsy Day in support of its patients and families with children who have cerebral palsy (CP).

Dr. Lisa Thornton, Division Chief of Rehabilitative Medicine at Sidra Medicine said: “This year’s theme is “Millions of Reasons” because there are 17 million worldwide with cerebral palsy and every one of them is a reason to strive for change. The vision of this day is to ensure that children and adults with CP have the same rights, access, and opportunities as anyone else in our society.”

Image of Dr. Lisa Thornton

Qatar has been committed to supporting the rights of people with CP since signing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in 2008. This commitment was re-affirmed with the Doha Declaration of 2019.  Since then, organizations like Qatar Foundation, through its Ability Friendly Program and Sidra Medicine with its multidisciplinary clinics, have lead the way in terms in offering services beneficial for children with CP in the country.

The Rehabilitation Department at Sidra Medicine is based on a multidisciplinary, community-based approach – working with young patients and their families.  Every patient is seen by a rehabilitative medicine physician together with a physical therapist and an occupational therapist, allowing for a tailored, holistic approach to care. The families also receive a personalized plan on what to expect regarding the impact their child’s disability will have on their lives, and receive guidance on the best ways to help their child reach their full potential.

Sidra-Medicine---Dr.-Lisa-Thornton-and-Prof Hijazi

Sidra Medicine’s Movement Disorders Clinic was established in 2020 and is the only pediatric service in Qatar to provide comprehensive management of spasticity (uncontrollable muscle stiffness) and dystonia (involuntary, abnormal jerking or twisting movements) in children and young people with CP. The multidisciplinary team members are from nursing, physical and occupational therapy, rehabilitation medicine, neurology, and neurosurgery.  The clinic offers state-of-the-art surgical interventions such as selective dorsal rhizotomy (‘SDR’) to patients who have not responded to medications and therapy. 


“Having CP should not have to stand in the way of a child living a happy, fun, and productive life. This is why we work with the community and most importantly parents to help their child achieve their goals.  We ask people in Qatar to come together to celebrate and support those living with CP, embrace diversity and to help create awareness and action around cerebral palsy. With family and community support, we can make a difference for children with CP get to adulthood with dignity,” concluded Dr. Thornton.

Patient Testimonials: In support of World Cerebral Palsy Day


Jibran Nadeer has Cerebral Palsy and is a patient at Sidra Medicine. His parents share a message in support of other parents with children with CP:

“Our children are the real heroes. And we should always try to make them happy. You may face obstacles, you may feel disheartened, angry or sad when things don't go well. We have been through it and we still have those moments. However the thought of your child being able to live and express themselves as an individual in our community and the smile that appears on their faces when they are happy, will drive you forward. Once again we would like to wish and all the super parents and super kids the best of everything. And keep moving forward. God bless!”


Kyle has Cerebral Palsy and is a patient at Sidra Medicine. His father Chet Garber shares a message in support of other parents of children with CP:

“While CP strikes at the heart of the family, and can often weigh heavily on your support systems, remember to always rely on others for assistance, and look for the joyful moments. Take breaks when necessary, nurture other relationships, and take time from your busy schedule to slow down and appreciate the wonder in your children! Remember, your children are not defined by their condition; they are defined by the love they show you.”


Saleh has Cerebral Palsy and is a patient at Sidra Medicine. His mother, Hebatullah Abdou, had this message in support of other parents of children with CP:

“Our son had a wonderful experience at Sidra Medicine. They have an amazing team of doctors, physiotherapists supported by the latest medical equipment and technology. All parents with children who have cerebral palsy should be hands-on to help their children have a meaningful life. We also recommend following their physiotherapist’s advice as part of their daily routine to keep them fit.”


Radheya has Cerebral Palsy and is a patient at Sidra Medicine. His mother, Mandar, shares a message in support for other parents of children with CP:

“The care that my son received at Sidra Medicine was truly outstanding. Our child is sweet soul who opted for us to be his parents. While it can be a tough job to take care of a child with special needs – the support and guidance of healthcare professionals, like the ones we deal with at Sidra Medicine can make things easier. Let’s cherish every moment we can, with our special children and experience their pure and selfless love for us.”


Shown has Cerebral Palsy and is a patient at Sidra Medicine. His mother, Valsamma Joseph, shares a message in support of other parents of children with CP:

“It means a lot when there is a team and a hospital you can trust, and Sidra Medicine is just the place where you feel safe that you are in the best of hands! If you face any challenges regarding your child, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider. Work with them and learn to trust that they will support you in ways that are in the best interests of your child. We are always reassured with the help we receive as we trust the team at Sidra Medicine. We are truly thankful to everyone for their guidance, care and support.”