This year’s National Cerebral Palsy Family Forum will remain unforgettable in the minds of families with children living with the condition as 21 of them received wheel chairs, worth N2.1 million from Benola Cerebral Palsy(CP) Initiatives while others, even adults went home with crutches.
Over 320 CP families received free counselling and medical checks during the one-day forum organised by Benola with support from Lagos University Teaching Hospital(LUTH) to mark the fifth anniversary, recently in Lagos.
Commenting, AVM (Rtd) Femi Gbadebo, the Founder, Benola Cerebral Palsy(CP) Initiatives, said that the donation were made possible through the contributions of Trustees, Advisory Board and Programme Planning and Implementation Team of the organisation.
According to him, the forum was a huge success as there were over 320 CP families who were attended to by 40 healthcare professionals of the 450 individuals who registered at the venue.
Gbadebo also said that families came from as far as Sokoto, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Warri, Ekiti, Ibadan and Oyo. Finally, 21 CP Children went home with Wheelchairs while a number of others, including adults went with crutches and walking sticks.
He said: “It was our best outing ever and it was made possible by kind people like you. As we continue working to change the Face of Cerebral Palsy and Disability Management in Africa, we pray for more of God’s richest blessings upon our lives.
“The Family Forum which is the fifth of its kind witnessed a huge success as families and Cerebral Palsy patients gathered to interact with one another.
Mrs. Obilana Adenike, who represented Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuff, the Commissioner, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, at the occasion said that the Lagos State will remain committed towards supporting children and persons with disability.
Akinbile-Yusuff also called on Nigerians to support families and persons with disabilities with required information to handle cases of Cerebral palsy.
She said, “The Lagos state supports all children and persons with disabilities especially cerebral palsy cases through provision of suitable homes in partnership with non-governmental organizations who are working relentlessly to assist this category of persons.
“The state government precisely in 2011 demonstrated its love for physically challenged persons when it promulgated the disability bill, and eventually created Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA), as an agency responsible for championing the cause of persons with disabilities. A lot of success has been recorded through the invention of the Office.
“Lagos State Government will not relent in providing the right atmosphere for persons with disabilities to unleash their potentials.”
Mrs. Joyce Onafowokan, Special Adviser On Social Development to Governor Akimwumi Ambode, advised mothers to break the silence and take advantages of opportunities counselling and available health care to add value to their lives.
She said, “It is a life long journey, sometimes in-laws and husbands may not understand, but you are the mother who carried the child, I understand what you are going through, but I charge you not to hide the children, bring them out let the world see them, this will awaken the social consciousness of an average Nigerian to begin to show love to them.
“The government will give them equal opportunity to develop and harness their full potential.”