By Amaechi Agbo
A Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, the Engraced Ones Prayer, Support and Advocacy Initiative, has called on the governments at all levels to establish a social welfare scheme to cater for the needs of children living with cerebral palsy.
The group made the call on Saturday during a walk to mark this year’s World Cerebral Palsy Day in Abuja.
Convener of the NGO, Bibora Yinkere, said that for the past four years, the group has engaged in taking care of children with cases of cerebral palsy in the country and called on the governments, churches, religious and traditional leaders to make it a priority to provide social welfare services to take care of the children with such health cases.
Mrs Yinkere who described the conditions of the children with cerebral palsy as being different and expensive in terms of medical and school cares, appealed to pregnant mothers to always adhere to doctors’ instructions and stay away from taking alcohol once they take in.
“On 5th October, the whole world is celebrating cerebral palsy. We have children with multiple disabilities; some of them are either visually impaired, have speech problems, paralysed or even deaf. It is a really serious condition.
“Cerebral palsy requires a lot of support and that is why we are encouraging people to come and support because it will go a long way in making life meaningful for them.
“The medical treatment of these children as well as their education is very expensive. Governments should provide a scheme or social welfare where these children can go and access affordable healthcare services.
Last year we lost a child in our midst because there was no money.
“The problem with cerebral palsy is that it is not a uniformed condition. It is like a spectrum because every child living with cerebral palsy has its own peculiarity and that is why the school is expensive. The children have different conditions which they need to manage such that sometimes you have up to 8 therapists taking care of one child.
A psychologist, Mrs Nefemi Ajilaye, who was part of the advocacy walk that took off from Apo Bridge to Gudu, advised women to always go to hospital once they get pregnant to avoid giving birth to a cerebral palsy child.