SCIAN advocates support for spinal cord patients in Bauchi

The Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria (SCIAN), Bauchi state chapter, yesterday called on overnment at all levels, corporate organizations, and other public spirited individuals to pay attention to towards addressing plight of spinal cord injury  victims and all persons with disabilities (PWD), especially during disasters and conflicts situations by providing them with rehabilitation centres.

SCIAN’s Chairman in Bauchi, Iliya Ismail at a one-day awareness campaign and stakeholder engagement activity to commemorate the World Spinal Cord Injury Day, with the theme “SCI in Conflicts and Disasters: Prepare and Prevent”, said the stakeholder engagement was aimed raising awareness on the difficulties being faced by SCI individuals in crisis in Bauchi State.

He said that experience has shown that persons with disabilities, especially wheel chair users, are often left behind or abandoned during evacuation exercises in disasters and conflicts due to lack of preparation, as well as inaccessible facilities, services and transportation systems. 

On the immediate need of the Association in the state, Ismail observed that, “provision of rehabilitation facilities to cater for SCI individuals and indeed PWDs is key to the functionality of most of them, but regretted that, there is no dedicated rehabilitation facility to provide the much needed support in the state. 

“We are calling on Government, Corporate Organizations and Public spirited individuals to support SCIAN Bauchi State Chapter by  constructing our rehabilitation centre.”

Also speaking, State Secretary of the Association, Ms. Safiya Gimba advocated for the enrollment of members into the ongoing health insurance program of the state for their health benefit in addition to the provision of rehabilitation centres that will mitigate the menace of street begging and other vices among members.

Also speaking, a development worker with special interests in gender and social inclusion (GESI), Hassana Lawal Bello appealed to government to always prioritize issues around PWDs in policy designs, programs and activities.