Don’t write-off children with cerebral palsy, NGO urges parents

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The Engraced Ones Prayer Support and Advocacy Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has urged parents not to write-off from the family children with cerebral palsy.

Mrs Biboara Yinkere, the convener of the NGO, made the call in Abuja on Saturday, during a road walk to commemorate the International Cerebral Palsy Day usually celebrated on Oct. 6.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood.

Signs and symptoms vary among people and time. Often, symptoms include poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, and tremors.

Yinkere called on parents who have this kind of children not to be ashamed about them, but to show them love as a means of encouraging.

She said that parents must come out and show love to this children, adding that if they don’t show them love and stand up for them, no one else would do that.

“The essence of this road walk is to join the rest of the world to celebrate CP Day usually celebrated Oct. 6 of every year but we are holding it today ahead of the day.

“Our prayer actually started Sept. 1, advocating both on social media for this children, last Monday, we had a press conference, today, we are here to walk and pray for these children,” she said.

Mrs Yemisi Ife-Iji, the officer for the NGO, also urged parents not to see the children as being useless, but to send them to the school of special needs, Jikwo, Karu Local government, Abuja.

According to Ife-Iji, these children are intelligent, they are teachable, and that all what the parents need is to give such child the right resources.

“God didn’t create anybody useless, he said everybody is fearfully and wonderfully created, He created us in his own image, meaning that, before our mother conceived us, He already knows us.

“He already consecrated us as Princes to him, everyone of us is useful. If you have children with special condition, please don’t keep them at home, send them to our school for special needs.

“We are calling on government to support these children with special needs, most of their parents cannot afford to train them, government should create enabling environment for these children.

“Government has signed so many act in the past, they have agreed to the UN Act to take care of people with special needs, government should live up to its responsibility.

“What government has signed with the UN should not just be a paper work, it should be bring the right people on board that will look into the plight of these people to become useful,” he stressed.

Mrs Ugwu Ifeoma, an Assistant Chief Health Education Officer, Ministry of Health, stated that government was working hard to ensure that the need of children with disability are provided.

She said that enough awareness was always created through stakeholders about the care of these special children, and urged the NGO to continue with the good work.

Ifeoma described the road walk as being great, adding that she was highly impressed about it.

Mr Mohie-Francis Oko, the Director, Foundation for Autism, also an NGO, who is working in with the Engraced Ones, promised to continue to work with the organisation.

He said that his NGO would continue to work with Engraced Ones in the area of speaking more about the cognitive disabilities of the children, as well as share more ideas.

He called on parents to continue to pay more attention to children with cerebral palsy, build more skill for them, as well as give them more strategies on how to be more functional.

He said that parents must do everything to harness the strength of these children, adding that, in every disability, there is always ability.