WCCPA pays tribute to Dr Leila Joan Arens (silber)
The Western Cape Cerebral Palsy Association (WCCPA) unveiled a commemorative plaque in honour of Dr Leila Arens at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, in Cape Town, on 12 June 2019.
Dr Arens spent most of her professional career as a physician, studying and caring for children with cerebral palsy. She published many studies on these topics and pioneered several novel therapies designed to improve the quality of life of the children she treated. She taught many generations of medical students and was known for her excellent teaching.
In 1968 Dr Arens, along with Dr Gladys Beinhart, started the WCCPA Cerebral Palsy Clinic at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, at a time when Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology was in its infancy internationally. Over the past 50 years, thousands of children with cerebral palsy were recipients of specialist rehabilitative therapies provided at the clinic.
The clinic continues to provide 300 rehabilitative physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy sessions a month that that aims to improve both the functional ability and quality of life of children with cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a developmental disorder of a child’s brain which results in difficulty of movement affecting daily activities such as walking, sitting, eating and drinking. The condition is lifelong with no cure. Dr Anita Parbhoo, Medical Manager at Red Cross Hospital, says “Collaborating with WCCPA therapists in a multidisciplinary clinic to treat cerebral palsy patients has provided a holistic patient-centred service for these patients”.
Dr Arens passed away on 8 July 2018 in Minnesota in the USA where she emigrated to in 2001 to join her children.
The WCCPA, Western Cape Government Health and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital will forever be grateful to this pioneer and visionary for her dedication to the treatment and care of children with cerebral palsy.
Captions: Dr Anita Parbhoo, Medical Manager: Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (left) and Mr Noor Osman, WCCPA Chairperson, unveil the plaque honouring founder of the Cerebral Palsy Clinic at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
Issued by: Western Cape Cerebral Palsy Association and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital
Western Cape Cerebral Palsy Association
Tel: 021 685 4150
Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital
Mobile: 072 236 8658