The public has been warned of “dangers of self-medication, outright negligence of COVID-19 protocols and living an unhealthy, unhygienic lifestyle in a post COVID-19 world. Such lifestyle, it was warned can result to reoccurrence of COVID outbreak”.
This above warning was sounded by the Medical Director, Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital during celebrations marking the 3rd edition of Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Deaf Awareness Day. The event took place on Wednesday 24 August, 2022 at the Local Government Council Secretariat, off College road, Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos.
The Medical Director was represented by Dr. Mrs. Ime Okon, HOD, Community Health, Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital
In his words: “There is great danger in self-medication so frequently indulged in these days. People are ignorant of the fact that what is good for one person may not work for another.
“Moreover, the tendency to discontinue observation of COVID-19 protocols like regular washing of hands, use of hand sanitizer, avoiding huge crowds, maintaining social distancing, using facemasks and general hygiene can expose the populace to recurrence of the dreaded coronavirus. This is the reason some people later get infected with COVID-19.
“People who feel the virus is no longer with us and begin to neglect observance of COVID-19 protocols, living unhealthy and even denying existence of the virus are exposing themselves to the dreaded disease and its health implications in the long run”.
While lecturing on the topic: “Maintaining healthy lifestyle in a post COVID-19 era”, Dr. Okon urged her listeners to check their COVID vaccinations status to verify completion of the recommended 3 doses.
She went on to advice those yet to complete the full doses to try as much as possible to do so while observing a clean and healthy lifestyle to curb spread of the pandemic.
According to her: “The way to maintaining a healthy lifestyle post COVID-19 reflects in our attitudes towards taking COVID vaccinations, tests and observations of COVID-19 protocols.
Maintaining healthy lifestyles in post COVID-19 era includes eating balanced diets, reduction in consumption of carbohydrates, fatty and sugary foods, eating enough fruits, regular visits to the hospital for check up, and prompt treatment of health challenges. She further stressed that delay has resulted in a number of avoidable deaths”
Another speaker at the occasion, Chief Dr. (Mrs.) Adeola Olanrewaju, Executive Director, Disability Policy and Advocacy Initiative (DPAI) and CEO, Golden Media Concept Company, while delivering her keynote speech on “Empowerment of the Deaf as a tool for a sustainable lifestyle in the post COVID-19 era” noted that the National Population Commission documents over 19 million Nigerians living with disabilities. Also, a 2020 report by President of Speech Pathologists and Audiologists Association of Nigeria (SPAAN), states that no less than 8.5million Nigerians (as at 2020) suffers from deafness and hearing impairments”.
She stressed that “the COVID era created new challenges for the society and more so for vulnerable groups. According to her, prior to emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable communities have been greatly marginalized and consistently threatened by stigma, discrimination and difficulty in accessing basic social and economic activities.
She expressed concern that this is happening despite several legislations criminalizing such acts. Now, with the pandemic, members of the Deaf community are experiencing increased inequality, healthcare, social and economic risks”.
Dr. Olanrewaju went on to proffer solutions to the problems facing the Deaf community and other vulnerable groups. These, according to her includes:
Implementation of an effective delivery system of sustainability through holistic collaboration with governmental agencies, NGOs and individuals.
Collation of data and statistics on the specific challenges being faced by members of the Disability community. This is necessary to identify areas of needs; provisions of assistive financial support, technological devices and accessible workplace. It will also aid promotion of goods and services of PWDs through events like International Trade Fairs – thus breaking down economic barriers.
Strengthening institutional landscapes and implementation of existing Disability Inclusive legislations such as: the Lagos State Disability Law (2011) and the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.
Dr. Olanrewaju also listed unhindered access to quality and affordable healthcare services for PWDs among the interventions Government should consider for these vulnerable minority groups
Earlier, the Chairman Ifako-Ijaiye Welfare Association of the Deaf (IIWAD) – Comrade Adewale Elisha Adeyanju had expressed special gratitude to the Executive Chairman, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Council – Prince Usman Akanbi Hamzat and Executive Director Godswheel Foundation – Princess Adeyosola Ndidi Onasanya for assisting with hosting of the 3rd Ifako-Ijaiye Deaf Awareness Day.
He also appreciated their disability friendly dispositions. He charged the Local Government Council to create more enabling environment for the Deaf through empowerment and employment opportunities. Comrade Adeyanju remarked that most Deaf members of IIWAD are APC card carrying members and actively participate in elections as society stakeholders. He thus insisted that they should be carried along and given a sense of belonging.
He argued, “We have waited patiently to get empowerment and support which is being freely given by politicians and government in Ifako-Ijaiye LGA to exclusion of the Deaf. What is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. It is the turn of the Deaf community to be empowered”.
In a response on behalf of the Chairman of Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Council, Prince Usman Akanbi Hamzat, Personal Assistant to the Chairman, Hon. Aronjue Ibrahim made it known that the Chairman maintained an open door policy and is Disability friendly. He assured that his principal will be briefed on the Deaf community’s complaints and requests and feedback provided shortly.
The event climaxed with the award of Supporters and Pillars given to the Executive Chairman Ifako-Ijaiye LGA and the Executive Director, Godswheel Foundation for their disability friendly dispositions and support towards hosting the event.
In attendance at the event was Oba Onifako of Ifako Kingdom – Chief Roy Layinde (Balogun of Ifakoland). He stood in for His Royal Highness Oba Teslim Fatusi.
Princess Maryam Bisi O. (Human resources officer, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government) along with several Directors and HODs from the ministries of Agriculture, Education, etc, also made the list of dignitaries.