A Non Governmental Organization (NGO),under the auspices of Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative has organised Families Christmas Network. The event which held at Peninsula Hotel Lagos drew parents of cerebral palsy together to celebrate their Christmas Eve.
Speaking shortly with Blackface correspondence after the event, the founder of the Initiative AVM Femi Gbadebo OFR said that there was need to set up Cerebral Palsy group in order to obtain necessary informations about such children so as to encourage them.
On why he set up the initiative, Gbadebo said ” we had a cerebral palsy child who is now 20 year old, because we can manage our child for so long, we came up with the idea of setting up a family to manage such children”.
Due to the Nigerian system, the founder stressed that there was need to sensitize people who can support the initiative such as the government, private sector and even the general public, adding that there is a high rates of stigmatization in the area of capacity building.
While observing that cerebral people are mostly avoided in the public instead of care, he however called on the parents to avoid running from one place to another in search of cure but strive to manage the situation as it occurred.
He appealed to the government to play their role by supporting such organizations for the benefits of the society.
Also speaking, a medical Doctor, (Team Lead and Consultant), Boyo said that cerebral palsy can never be cured but managed.
He identified negligence of pregnant women by health practitioners during child birth, lack of proper ante nata care,and children who are born through hard labour as causes of cerebral palsy, others are inability to cry earlier after birth as well as lack of oxygen to the air ways after birth.
In order to curb this menace, the Doctor said ”there must be training and retraining of health workers, high risk babies and high risk mothers must be identified, babies in the womb must be receiving proper ante nata care and also hospitals must be well equipped”. immediately babies are born, they should be clean up, especially the air ways to avoid this risks”.he added.
Cerebral Children according to Boyo, must be encouraged by reading out questions for them in school,there must be provision of necessary facilities and also showing them proper care so as to refashion their mindset from being outcast.
He called on the Nigerian government and other stakeholders to support them by helping health workers on training and retraining,hospitals should remove obstacles to child bearing and health facilities should be available and well maintained.
Mrs Iyabo Ojo who is the founder of Basic Foundation( home for special needs children ) said that she founded the organization out of love for such children.
OJo noted that there is a need to reach out to other children who has similar issues in Nigeria by creating awareness as a lot of children are being abandoned by parents.
She therefore advised parents to avoid neglecting their children, even as she stated that there are special gifts in each child.
A Mother of a four (4) year old cerebral child Mrs.Bisola Ojo said that there are challenges surrounding parents of such children,” though having them is fun” she said
When asked about the child’s dream, She disclosed that ” He always told me that his dream is to become a medical doctor and that is my greatest desire for him”.
According to her, cerebral palsy is a life long challenge, therefore one need to manage it, help them by accepting them for who they are and the condition they are living”
She admonished parents of such children to avoid keeping them on closed doors,and try as much to expose them as they acquired numerous talents to offer.