Experts Seek Increased Support For Children With Cerebral Palsy

•As Benola Donates 15 Wheelchairs

Chioma Umeha
Children living with cerebral palsy received free medical check-up by different paediatric therapist as Benola initiative marked its sixth National Cerebral Palsy Family Forum with more than 15 children getting free wheelchairs.
The forum like the previous year’s edition held at University of Lagos Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idiaraba, also had the support of LUTH as usual.
Pediatric therapists such as speech, occupational, nutrition and dietetics as well as other medical social workers from LUTH were present to provide proper attention to families that have children living with cerebral palsy.
On the essence of the forum, an occupational therapist of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Mr Ayomide Oni explains children with cerebral palsy can be taught on how to be independent that is, doing things that they are meant to do as children.
“We are here to help train disabled children on how to be independent and do several things themselves without the help of their parent, so we encourage parent to always bring their children for counselling.”
Another therapist, Cynthia Onyekwere, whose specialty is on nutrition and dietetics at LUTH also advises parent to give the exact food to their disabled children.
She frowned at parents that give their children concoction and supplement popularly known as ‘Agbo’ that were not prescribed by doctors in health facilities. According to her such medication or supplement will cause more harm than good to that child.
“I want all parents that have children living with cerebral palsy to ensure that they find out the exact food that their children like, make sure that everything given to them are nutritional because only a nutritious food can make a child healthy.”
Mrs. Happiness Uzo, a member of the Medical Social Therapist Board of Nigeria, also disclosed that the government is trying to make sure that disabled children are given maximum attention concerning health and vocational issues.
“The government provided the paediatric therapist for parents to walk in and make complaints on how their children are feeling. You are free to come in anytime, we are here to help cerebral palsy persons, we are here for you and always put it in mind that we are in this together because we understand exactly how you feel so please feel free.”
Benola initiative is looking forward to a world where there will be no discrimination of disabled children among other abled ones, children with cerebral palsy can do a lot of great things in future all they need is proper care, love and attention, she said.
If parents that have disabled children treat them badly, then there are no way the children would live well. What we need is to build up the self-esteem of children with cerebral palsy, give them adequate love and care, comments Mrs. Abimbola Oshinowo, Assistant Director of the Lagos Ministry of Health.
She also appreciates the Benola initiative for assisting the government to do some of their numerous duties as well as supporting families with children living with cerebral palsy.
One the beneficiaries of the Benola initiative forum is master David LUTH, a special child with cerebral palsy who was abandoned under the staircase in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital after few months of birth.
David has been a baby of the hospital ever since then and he was named after the great hospital since the only relative he has is his nurses who have been his caregiver and the hospital at large.
Another beneficiary is a joyful five-year-old boy, victor Adebayo who looks good, agile and happy, despite his disability.
In a chat with DAILY INDEPENDENT, his mother, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Adebayo says that her child has been a source of blessing to her despite his disability.
“Victor is my third child, after his birth I had to stop my job and other side businesses because he needs adequate love and care from me. My child is always neat and happy; he is a strong boy that always tries to do things beyond his capability.”
Mrs Adebayo appreciates the forum for their medical counselling noting that counselling helps to guide parents on achieving a better future for their children.
Folarin Oluwani was also a beneficiary of the forum. Aged five, Folarin is living with cerebral palsy and is receiving adequate care from his mother who also had to stop working because of him.
Cerebral palsy should not be seen as the end of the world, let parents show love and care to these children and ensure they live a healthy life, says Femi Gbadebo, the Founder, Benola Cerebral Palsy (CP) Initiatives.
Gbadebo further says, Benola was initiated because of his son and this forum has successfully proved, through awareness, that disabled children can become useful persons in life.


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