The Lagos State Government through the Office for Disability Affairs, LASODA, has celebrated over 200 Children with Disabilities in the State.
The agency organised the event as part of activities to specially mark the year 2023 Children’s Day with children with disabilities.
The General Manager LASODA, Mr Oluwadamilare Ogundairo said the occasion was designed to give more credence to the policy of inclusiveness by Lagos State where no one is left behind, including a child.
Mr. Ogundairo maintained that it is important to give the children a sense of belonging and to allow them to socialise among their peers and make merry.
He said; “It’s just a testimony of the commitment of the Lagos State Government to the THEMES+ Agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration in a way to leave no one behind including a child.
“Every year, we gather them from different schools, homes, organisation, and association or caregivers that deals with children with special needs. It is important to give them a sense of belonging and also as part of their development and socialisation, and to come together and have fun and go back with lots of gifts from the Lagos State government.
“Lagos State has always distinguished itself in terms of inclusive governance by ensuring that everyone including the vulnerable and persons with disabilities feels the dividends of the investment of the government not just in the infrastructure but also in the social development of the people that include people with disabilities.”
Mr Ogundairo further said that last year, both children and their parents were celebrated while the State acknowledged the contributions of Mothers with disabilities and Mothers of children with the same challenge.
He said; “But today, we are just doing it for children who are in their numbers and will go home with gift items to others who could not make it to the event today.”
The Guest Speaker at the event, Mrs. Bisola Olufolajimi who spoke on the topic, Embracing the future generation through hygiene” emphasised the need for all and sundry to hide and protect the children from any harm.
Mrs. Olufolajimi said; “Heath is wealth and hygiene is life. You are as clean as your life is, or the length of your life will be. We have been able to enlighten people here today on how Children with disabilities should be kept safe via cleanliness at home, school, or at the centres. We need to ensure that the areas they are kept are clean and protected from germs and bacteria which can cause infection and invariably death, because, children with disabilities tend to live longer and healthier in a safe environment.”
She stressed that food poisoning can occur when their food is not well cooked and taking care of their skin, oral health, and washing of hands before serving them food is also very important.
She however called for the consistent creation of awareness and advocacy by critical stakeholders to ensure that priority is given to their health in the scheme of things
A parent of a child with Disability, Mrs. Oluchi Francis said that every child with disabilities needs support and must be catered for in terms of oral hygiene, food nutrition, medication, and finances.
Francis whose child is suffering from Cerebral palsy called for government intervention and proper observation, as well as the provision of therapists to keep them alive.
The highlight of the occasion which featured dance by the special Children was the award presentation for outstanding Children at the event, as children made outstanding song presentations to the delight of the guests.