By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A non-governmental Organization, NGO, The Engraced One’s Prayer Support and Advocacy Initiative, EOPSAI, has expressed concern over the plight of children living with special needs in the midst of raging coronavirus, COVID-19, as it continues to ravage countries of the world, which Nigeria is also having its fair share.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Founder, EOPSAI, Bibora Yinkere, while highlighting effort made in carrying out a 21-day sensitization of communities and families about Down syndrome, which the United Nations, UN, marked World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st, 2020 with the theme, ‘We Decide’, and Autism Awareness Day on 2nd April 2020 with the theme, ‘Transition to Adulthood’.
She said: “As the coronavirus continues to spread its tentacles across the globe, what does the future hold for persons living with disability and children living with special needs in particular?
“Families, educators, and society at large have the responsibility to educate these precious persons on the need and techniques to protect themselves against the pandemic.
“How best can this be achieved when accessibility to water, wash hand basins among is still a mirage to the average Nigerian?
“For a child living with DS who has the tendency to hug his or her loved ones, how do you get them to understand that it was suddenly not healthy to hug or even shake hands?
“In the case of autism, how do you get a child who may be hyperactive and unable to express or communicate his or her feelings to report COVID-19 symptoms or even stay indoors?
READ ALSO: COVID 19: Ondo regent evokes gods
On the 21 Day sensitization on Down Syndrome she said, “In the last few weeks, the UN marked World Down syndrome Day on March, 2020 themed ‘We Decide’ and Autism Awareness Day on April 2, with the theme, ‘Transition to Adulthood’.
“While Down syndrome is a genetic disorder arising from a chromosomal defect which results in intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities, Autism is a complex neuro behavioral condition that affects social interaction with marked inappropriate behaviour.
“The Engraced Ones Prayer Support and Advocacy Initiative marked the WDS by embarking on a 21 Day Sensitization by sharing basic facts about Down syndrome on all its social media platforms”, she said