Home Disability News SCIAN Calls For Support To Complete Construction Of Rehabilitation Centre In Lagos

SCIAN Calls For Support To Complete Construction Of Rehabilitation Centre In Lagos

by Sejoro Ekundayo

The Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria (SCIAN) has called for support from well meaning individuals and Corporate bodies to assist in completing the construction of its Lagos rehabilitation center.

This is even as it urged State branches to step up awareness campaigns in commemoration of the International Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day. They are to raise awareness on the plights of SCIAN in Nigeria.

The Interim National President, SCIAN, Abdulwahab Matepo made the call while commemorating the SCI Day at the Lagos center on Sunday.

The International Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Day is celebrated annually on September 5 to raise awareness on current issues of concern for spinal cord injury individuals. The theme for the 2022 SCI Day is “SCI in Conflicts and Disasters: Prepare and Prevent.” It is aimed to raise awareness on the difficulties faced by SCI individuals in conflict zones.

Matepo briefed State chapters on activities lined up throughout the month of September. These include engagements with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Police, State Emergency Management Agencies, Road Transport Unions, and the Nigeria Medical Association.

Also scheduled for implementation are visits to spinal cord injury victims in teaching hospitals, media outings and courtesy visits to traditional rulers and community leaders.

According to the interim President, “The situation of persons with SCI in unstable and complex conflict zones like the North East and the North West presents a subject of utmost concern to the Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria, SCIAN.

“We therefore stress that whichever region persons with spinal cord injuries may be found, their needs, hopes and dreams, along with their families, are similar to what we all share as human beings and citizens of Nigeria.

As signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), Nigeria is under obligation to ensure that all Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are given priority in conflict situations.

“Experience has shown that Persons with Disabilities, especially wheelchair users, are often left behind or abandoned during evacuation in disasters and conflicts. This comes from discrimination, lack of preparation and planning, inaccessible facilities and transportation systems.

“To ensure PWDs are properly cared for when disasters occur, organizations of Persons with Disabilities, political authorities, public administrators and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) should be involved in planning strategies for tackling disasters and conflicts.
Emergency plans should consider the fact that most spinal cord injured persons use wheelchairs and as such their locations and emergency needs should be known and assessed before disaster strikes.

“In addition, emergency responders, like the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Police and civil defence, as well as State Emergency Response Agencies whose task it is to rescue people with spinal cord injuries should be given appropriate training and equipment for these tasks.

“Evacuation, emergency transportation, sheltering and temporary rehabilitation facilities should be easily accessible by wheelchair to avoid unnecessary delays and additional injuries.

“Rehabilitation is central to the ultimate level of functionality of the spinal cord injured irrespective of whether the injury was sustained prior to, or due to conflicts and disasters.

“Unfortunately, there is yet no dedicated rehabilitation facility to provide this much needed support in Nigeria.

“We are calling on well meaning individuals and corporate organizations to support the Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria to complete construction of its rehabilitation Centre in Lagos”, the President said.

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