Wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun says the renovation of the State’s Special School in Sagamu has been completed, to give adequate attention to the children who had been neglected for some time, promising to replicate same in the remaining four Special Needs Schools in the State.

Mrs. Abiodun stated this during a 4-Day Capacity Building Programme, organised by her Office, in collaboration with Jesse’s Place Foundation, a United Kingdom based Non-Governmental Organisation of Special Needs Professionals for Special Needs Caregivers in Ogun State, held at the June 12 Cultural Center, Kuto, Abeokuta.

Mrs. Abiodun said, as one of the two Champions of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria, she was committed to the welfare of children and youths with special need in the State, noting that the present administration would continue to ensure a conducive environment for them.

She called for increased budgetary allocation, as well as advocacy by governments, to assist in reducing stigmatisation and further bring about national development.

Earlier in her goodwill message, the State Deputy Governor, Engr. (Mrs.) Noimot Salako-Oyedele, said plans were underway to partner some Non-Governmental Organisations that specializes in the care of people with special needs in the State, stressing the need for advocacy against neglect and stigmatization of the affected persons and their families.

She advised parents to pay adequate attention to their newborns and be vigilant, in order to detect disabilities early and get proper medical care for them.

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The Commissioner of Health, Dr. Tomi Coker in her address, emphasised the need for necessary medical tests for children at birth, noting that this would help to correct some invisible disabilities, if detected early.

She encouraged parents and caregivers to show love and handle them with patience, give them sense of belonging and bring out their full potentials.

One of the Guest Speakers at the event, Mrs. Sola Ogunde of the Jesse’s Place Foundation, who spoke on the topic, ‘Understanding or Redefining Disability in Nigeria’, pointed out that children with special needs had innate qualities which could only be harnessed, when they were loved and treated with compassion, appreciating Mrs. Abiodun for her concern and care for the children.

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