Many Children Still Buried Alive Due To Cerebral Palsy, Says Couple
Mr and Mrs Aondofa Anjira have relentlessly supported parents whose children were born with Cerebral Palsy, through their organisation, having had two children of their own born with the said condition. They made this known at the five year anniversary which took place at the Kano Hall of Transcorp Hotel in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.
It was also the launching of her 5th year strategy plan, inauguration of advisory board, award ceremony and launch of her magazine “Making the Best of the Unexpected”.
In his welcome address, Mr. Aondofa Anjira, the co-founder of the Sedoo Initiative for Children with Special Needs said the occasion was to celebrate how far they have come within five years and to build on that. He said that the Initiative was borne out of their experience (his wife and his) of nursing two children with special needs (Sedoo and Aondofa) and the desire to support, advocate and reach out to other families’/care givers/ children with special needs.
The Sedoo Initiative for Children with Special Needs (SECHILD) is a community Service Organization committed to an often neglected target group within the Nigerian society. It is founded to provide succor for parents, professional help and information resource centre on therapy, education and support with emphasis on children with Cerebral Palsy
“Many children with Cerebral Palsy and other deformities in some Nigerian communities are either buried alive or thrown into the river to return to the spirit world as a service of purification to the parents of such children”, says Mrs Kawan Anjira.
Speaking at the event, she said the goal SECHILD is to re-orient those who view these children in such light saying every child was “beautifully, purposely and uniquely created”.
“In Nigeria it is traditionally believed that a child born with abnormal development is from the spirit world or a snake incarnate and will bring a curse on the family. The truth is that these beliefs and practices have negative effects on the psychological and social status of these families. These children should have the opportunity to know and experience love and care from their families and community”
She further explained that her organisation was founded specifically to provide succour to these children and parents including professional assistance, information on therapy and education with emphasis on children with Cerebral Palsy and called on support to realise the vision.
Attendance included the Hon.Minister of Health -represented by Dr Ovuraye John,Consulting Family Physician,Deputy Director /Head Newborn Branch,Child Health Division,Family Health Department,Federal Ministry of Health, Hon.Minister of Education-represented by Anyanwu B.N (Mrs), Hon.Minister of Women Affairs-represented-Com.