By Bukola Afeni
Children with special needs through health conditions or brain abnormalities deserve fundamental human rights to love, care and access to basic services such as physiotherapy, psychological support, education and occupation therapy and most importantly good shelter, President, Sedoo Initiative for Children with Special needs Mrs Kawan Aondofa Anjira has said.
Mrs Anjira, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the centre in Abuja said there is need for continuous advocacy for the acceptance of children with special needs and provision of improved quality of life for them through re-orientation, professional information sharing and the provision of accessible care support to their families.
Speaking on the vision that gave birth to Sedoo Initiative, Mrs Anjira said, “We envision a society where children with special needs have all the basic needs of life. We have to educate ourselves and our communities so that we would not continue to waste the lives of precious children.”
Speaking further, she disclosed that Sedoo initiative emerged out of Aondofa and Kawan’s quest for answers on the care of special needs children after nurturing two of children born with cerebral Palsy, a form of brain abnormality.
“Being committed to improving the lives of children with special needs, due to the lost of Sedoo their child, Mr. & Mrs Aondofa mustered the strength and resilience to establish the Sedoo initiative for children with special needs”, said Mrs Anodofa.
“Faced with the challenges of raising two Cerebral Palsy children in a society where these categories of children are regarded as spirit or snakes. The couple with a lack of information accessibility, health, support centres and comprehending the pride of other children, conceived this framework home for children with special needs.
She further noted that the initiative is working with people and institutions who shared common interests in advocating for the right of children with special needs.
Dr Joseph Mbahan, a Physiotherapist, highlighted some causes of cerebral palsy, which he said is the paralysis of the brain that occurs during either pregnancy or prolonged labour.
He added that a medical condition can only be managed through physical exercise since it has no permanent cure.
Mrs Avery Gavar, Director National Human Rights Commission and Chairperson of SECHILD, said that although the government through the establishment of person with disability commission has rectified and made effort through the right of persons with disability, but there is no enough recognition for children living with special needs in our society.
“This is down grading because they are the one to receive adequate care. The implementation of the disability act involve government as the primary person with these responsibilities, same with individuals and groups,” Gavar said, adding, “We need a lot of support and recognition from government and individuals, and groups so as to strengthen advocacy implementation of the fundamental right of children with special needs.”