By Sola Ogundipe
The Founder/CEO Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative, Air Vice Marshall Femi Gbadebo (Retd), has called for annual topical discussions to be held nationally on Cerebral Palsy (CP), a disorder that affects thousands in Nigeria.
Making the call in a chat with Good Health Weekly, ahead of the 4th anniversary and 1st annual Cerebral Palsy symposium, taking place today in Lagos, he said it was expedient to ensure that CP and other disability disorders, obtain deserved attention.
Gbadebo who remarked that managing disability affects every parent that faces the same challenges and should not be relegated, said: “In talking to over 800 parents of children with CP, we are yet to find a parent that is ready to speak to this problem. But we need to build capacity on the need to keep asking questions and thinking of the way forward.”
According to him, one of the key activities Benola is championing to ensure CP gets more attention on the public domain. “We are getting parents to form groups or to join Benola so that in partnership for the World Cerebral Palsy Day activities, we can raise 1,000 participants.
“We are planning a family forum with the theme: “Realities of Ageing With Cerebral Palsy” where we will interact with the elderly living with CP, asking general questions from parents of children with CP about what next? We will be going to the schools an opening up opportunities, however, the need is top make the forums more beneficial.”
Today’s symposium which is first in series is themed: “Disability Management in a Depressed Economy”, which is being chaired by Mr Adenrele Kehinde, who is Chairperson, FBN Insurance, a host of experts are gathered to discuss issues surrounding CP and other disabilities. Among them are the Provost, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Professor Afolabi Lesi, who is presenting the lead paper entitled : Disability Management in a Depressed Economy”. Contributing to the topic is Consultant Family Health Physician, Dr. Alero Roberts, who is mother of an adult child living with Down Syndrome, and a Special Olympics multi-gold medallist.
Others are Consultant Paediatrician and specialist in Neurodevelopment& Disability at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Dr. Gbemisola Boyede; Former President, Paediatric Association of Nigeria and Founder/Managing Director, EMEL Hospital, Festac, Dr, Mobolaji Lawal; GM Radio One 103.5 FM, Lagos, Funke Treasure Durodola.
From the business world, a Chartered Accountant/entrepreneur, and leader/CEO, LANI Group, Mr Ani Bassey-Eyo will speak, while Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Social Development, Dr Joyce Onafowokan Ed.M, an experienced developmental specialist with many years practice in the US is representing the State government.