Experts from different fields will gather in Lagos on 26 February to educate the public as well as public policy makers about the problem of cerebral palsy, what legislation is needed to address the problem in Nigeria and the funding required to provide facilities.
A statement released weekeend said the unveiling of Benola, a cerebral palsy initiative would take place at the Sun Room, Four Points by Sheraton, Oniru Chieftaincy Estate, Lekki, Lagos beginning from 9:30 am.
The statement signed by the founder, Air Vice Marshal Femi Gbadebo (rtd) OFR said the unveiling would be followed by a nationwide campaign.
“Benola Palsy Initiative, a non- governmental organization has concluded plans for a nation-wide sensitization campaign aimed at evolving proactive steps to help parents and guardians of those living with the condition to have access to better management techniques and counselling. The Initiative intends to create a resource base and accurate data of people living with the condition which will then be used to determine the best location for facilities and research centres” the statement said.
The organization frowned at the stigmatization of certain ailments in the country and government’s insensitivity to the plight of those living with limitations, pointing out that what such people needed from society was not pity but a measure of love and understanding.
According to the statement “If you visit countries outside Nigeria especially Europe, America, Australia or Canada, you will not find any physically challenged person begging for a living. In those countries, society has risen to its responsibility of caring for such citizens. Families of those living with limitations are recognised as care –givers to the disabled persons and given the necessary support to devote their lives to caring for them”.
The founders of the organization, according to the statement, were motivated to set up the Initiative because of their knowledge of the plight of parents and victims of cerebral Palsy.
On funding, the statement said the founders would rally the private sector as well as well-meaning individuals to key in and help sustain the project.