The FCT Social Development Secretariat (SDS), in collaboration with Miriam Charity Foundation trained about 50 physically challenged persons on various vocations while carrying out medical outreach in the nation’s capital.
Speaking, the Director, Department of Social Welfare, Mrs. Felicia Nwogu who represented the Secretary, Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Alhaji Oladimeji Ali Hassan, said the medical outreach and training was taking place due to the passionate appeal made by the physically challenged persons through their leader, HRH Sulaiman Katsina, who insists that they want to know their health status.
The Secretariat who has since imbibed the culture of ascertaining from the people what their immediate needs in order to provide them with these needs and not just to impose on them what the office think is good for them.
According to Alhaji Hassan, the Secretariat alongside the Miriam Charity Foundation was at Karma Majiji community to train those who were not part of the previous trainings given to many of the residents of the community by the Secretariat.
He said: “We are here to empower more of the people so as to help to further discourage them from begging which has become like a norm to them and same practice need to be discouraged forthwith as well as getting them off the streets.”
The Secretary advised those who will be receiving the training should take it serious as it will make them earn steady and higher income than they may get through begging.
Similarly, Founder of the Foundation, Mrs Miriam Pat Dike, said the focus of her Foundation is to create an enabling environment where the physically challenged will no longer take begging as a source of income.
Dike said they are not stopping at just training them on crafts of soap making, bleach making and making of Dettol antiseptic; but aimed at taking them to the field where they will practice what they have learnt.
On the medical outreach, Dike said those who test positive to any of the tests conducted will be referred to a particular hospital in town for further diagnosis and proper treatment, saying they will monitor how the treatment is going on and take care of the bill.
Responding on behalf of the community, the leader of the community, Sulaiman Katsina, thanked the Secretariat and the Miriam Charity Foundation for taking both the medical intervention and the training of persons in their community.
The community with about 650 persons had their men, women and children examined for ailments like HIV, hepatitis B, malaria, STI’s, blood sugar level and blood pressure tests.