By James Ogunnaike
The Ogun State Chairman of Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria (SCIAN), Mr. Ayodele Awobona has called on the state government to domesticate the National Disability Law.
According to Awobona, who made the call at the 2022 Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month celebration, with the theme, “Spinal Cord Injury in Conflicts and Disaster: How to Prepare and Prevent”‘ held in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, said the action will further give members of the association sense of belonging in the society.
He said, “government should help us domesticate the national disability law. This will give us a sense of belonging in the society”.
He lamented that society has not been friendly to people with disability, stressing that there is ‘big discrimination against them.
If society embraces us and welcomes us well, things will change.
“For instance, for us to get people to marry us is a big problem. When you see someone you like to marry, society will question why the person wants to be with you. When going out, transporters charge us exorbitantly. They believe that we are richer than other people”.
Speaking on the importance of the programme, Awobona noted that it will create awareness of how helpers and responders attend to accident victims so that their actions did not worsen the condition of the victims.
He noted that most of the spinal cord injuries in Nigeria were as a result of poor handling of accident victims by bystanders.
He advised people living with spinal cord injuries not to see their present condition as an ‘end of life, but they should strive to make themselves happy and find ways of engaging themselves meaningfully.
“One of the things we wanted to achieve with this programme was to bring our people out to know what is happening in society. We have some of the people that haven’t come out for 3 years, some for 10 years. We brought them out so they can start working on their self-esteem. One of them was taken round Abeokuta”, Awobona said.
Lecturing members of the association on their health, the Chief Matron, Federal Medical Centre, Idi Aba, Abeokuta, Mrs Folashade Oguntuyo advised them to take good care of their health, stressing that they should consume vegetables and fruits.
She added that they should desist from consuming carbonated drinks, stressing that that drink more water would be beneficial to them.
She equally counselled them on personal hygiene in order to prevent diseases.