Our Strategy Expanded
We at Benola do not claim to be authorities on the subject of Cerebral Palsy. But having watched and helped our son live with the condition for over 18years, moving and living with him in different parts of the world and seeing first-hand, the reality of living with Cerebral Palsy, the gap that exists between life for those with limitations in developed countries and what obtains in a developing country like Nigeria, we appreciate the enormity of work that lies ahead of us if we are to make a success of this initiative. Therefore, and after due consideration of the options before us, we opted for the following courses of action;
- To work to raise awareness about Cerebral Palsy
- To join in the advocacy for Early Intervention as a Tool for Better Management of Developmental Delays in Pre-Term Babies and Infants.
- To work to establish, as a matter of urgency, a Data Base of Cerebral Palsy in Nigeria and other African Countries.
- To advocate for Inclusive Education and the establishment of Special Needs Classes in every Community.
- To canvas for training and re-training opportunities for those involved in the care and management of Cerebral Palsy
- To provide Counselling and Support Services to individual families in the form of Medical, Nutrient and Sanitary requirements.
- To collaborate with like minds in advocating for the rights of every individual living with limitations.
Right from inception, we have continued to maintain a firm commitment to building in-house capacity in the relevant areas of Cerebral Palsy and other Developmental Disabilities with particularly emphasis on how these conditions affect families in Nigeria. One major result of that effort is the publication in February 2014, of a document, Benola’s Roadmap for Cerebral Palsy in Nigeria, which we earnestly believe will lead to the following in Nigeria and the rest of Africa;
- Better understanding of Cerebral Palsy and other childhood disabilities.
- A drastic change in the mind-set about disabilities and disability management.
- Establishment of credible data bases for Cerebral Palsy and other childhood disabilities.
- Increased management options for all childhood disabilities.
As of date, Benola has succeeded in making great strides in the areas of Advocacy, Information Management, Counselling, Referrals and Capacity Building, with over 450 families spread all over Nigeria and a number of other African Countries, namely Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda who, mostly through our website and social media platforms, benefit from our services.
We are currently looking for new ways to raise awareness about Cerebral Palsy, create a credible data base for the condition in Nigeria and other African countries, better options for providing care and support for affected families, engaging in capacity building for professionals in the health care sector on modern trends in the management of CP and the use of appropriate technology while in concert with other stake holders, we assiduously engage in advocacy for the rights of every individual living with limitations.
In addition, we are working to acquire additional capacity to be in a position to deliver the following additional services;
- Training covering all Childhood Disabilities and Early Intervention Techniques for Healthcare providers at the basic, primary and tertiary levels.
- Introduction of basic courses on Childhood Disabilities and Early Intervention into the curriculum of our Colleges of Medicine and Schools of Nursing
- Introductory course on Childhood Disabilities for serving members of our National Youth Service Scheme. (A mandatory 1- year program for university graduates)
- Awareness Campaigns on Childhood Disabilities for Students at the Primary, Secondary and University level.
- Awareness Campaigns and lectures on Childhood Disabilities for staff of Government Agencies and/or departments, particularly those with a bias towards Health, Education and Social Welfare.
- Building a machinery for the compilation of data bases for the various Childhood Disabilities
- Compiling a register of Relevant Professionals who are in a position to render services, to include Health Care Providers, Experts in Special Education
- Compiling a directory of Health Centres, Homes for the Disabled and Special Schools.