An Abuja based caregivers organisation, the Sechild Care Centre, has called on various level of governments to support children with special needs, particularly those with cerebral palsy.
The NGO made the appeal in Abuja on Sunday at a fund raising it organised to assist children with special needs.
Assistant Director, Nigeria Communication Commission, Mr. Solomon Igbayue, called on government at various levels to support children with special needs, particularly those with cerebral palsy.
Igbayue said it had become important to have teachers at the centre that would pay good attention to the peculiarities of children with special needs.
He also said there was the need to establish specialised hospitals for them as conventional hospitals lacked the facilities to cater for their health needs.
“If we have a hospital that can take care of children with cerebral palsy and their therapy, if we can create all these things, we can make the atmosphere an enabling one for them. With these, the children can grow up and become what they want to be. We have seen some of them who have these challenges, overcome them. Some of them are engineers, doctors and advocates.
“Funding is key for the care of these children. Sechild has been scouting for funds without getting any support from anywhere. Most of these children use diapers 24/7. Some of them have special medication they take. Some have nurses dedicated to taking care of them and they are paid. The doctors that attend to them are paid and all these require lots of money,” he said.
The NCC boss noted that there should be special and dedicated schools where the children can learn, adding that those who had gone to conventional schools and became great, learnt in a hard way.
Mrs. Apha Mane-Iber, a board member of the NGO, said some parents are ashamed to bring children with such challenges out due to discrimination.
She said that the initiator of the organisation was motivated to start the centre because two of her four children were born with cerebral palsy.
“The founder is my younger sister. When she gave birth to the children, people advised her to throw them away, but she never succumbed as a result of her likeness for children,’’ she added.
The board member urged the ministries of Health and Women Affairs to assist in taking care of children with special needs, especially those at the Sechild care centre.
The founder of Sechild Car
e Centre, Mrs. Kawan Aondofa-Anjira, informed that the centre had been in existence since January 2011.
Aondofa-Anjira said one of the basic challenges of the centre was space to keep the children, especially for physiotherapy.
“We have been managing despite the space constraint. However, we started an expansion project, which is already completed but waiting to be furnished. That is part of the reason we are doing this fundraising today. We have written several letters to the Federal Ministry of Health to give us physiotherapists, doctors, wheelchairs and assisting devices but none has materialised’’ she said.
Aondofa-Anjira, however, decried the rate at which children with special needs are discriminated against, noting that most people in the society do not understand them.
She said, “They don’t understand their condition. Once a child is not developing as expected, that child is not regarded as a human being. My advice to mothers is that every child is a gift from God and deserves the right to live. Every child should be cared for. No one deserves to be looked down on. All children must be trained so that they can be useful to themselves and the society.
NGO seeks support for children with special needs