Foundation advocates pyscho-social support for caregivers of children with autism
Rafatu Salami, Executive Director, Okenite Foundation for Special Needs Children
By Salisu Sani-Idris
Ms Rafatu Salami, the Executive Director, Okenite Foundation for Special Needs Children, has called on government to expand inclusive health care services for women and people caring for children with disabilities.
Salami made the call at the Voices for Women’s Health high level meeting organised by the She Forum Africa in collaboration with Pathfinder International and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, on Thursday in Abuja.
She advised the incoming administration to focus on improving women’s health.
” Often neglected or perhaps not even recognised is the fact that those who have special needs children have dire need for social support as they go through unimaginable stress levels that could hinder their ability to provide proper care for the child.
“We have seen women going into complete mental breakdown, depression and totally lacking any will power to live because the task of caring for the child with disability could be overwhelming.
” So as we provide care for people with disabilities, let’s also provide the needed psychological care for the caregivers who in most cases are women,” she appealed.
Also, a panelist, Helen Beyioku-Alase, the President, Deaf Women Aloud initiative, said inspite of all legislations in the country, the health of women with disabilities was still not prioritised and health care provision was yet to be inclusive.
The Co-convener of the meeting, Ms Inimfok Etuk, explained that the event was convened to set agenda for the incoming administration.
” It is time to mobilize multi sectoral efforts to shape new priorities that would enhance quality, supportive and effective decision-making as they affect women’s health.” (NAN)