World Autism Awareness Day: Obaseki assures support for children, others with special needs

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Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has commended the courage of families supporting children with special needs, assuring that reforms in basic education and improved healthcare will guarantee support structures for their needs, even as the government will continue to prioritise them in policy formulation.

Obaseki said this in commemoration of the 2019 World Autism Awareness Day marked by the United Nations, every April 2.

He said the state government would continue to deploy technology in improving learning outcomes in the basic education sector through the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo BEST) Programme to accommodate the needs of all, as those with special needs would be provided for.

He noted, “On this day, it is important to salute the courage and determination of families supporting children with special needs. Much as we are in awe of the good work they do, we will ensure reforms in basic education accommodate the needs of these children, so they would get the best of life and not feel left behind.”

Noting that the theme for this year’s commemoration, ‘Assistive Technologies, Active Participation’, sets the tune for the call for support structures, he said the state government would ensure that those with the condition as well as the families that cater for their needs, get the needed cushion to lead better lives.

He said the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme (HIP) would ensure that those with special needs are catered for, especially at the tertiary healthcare level, adding, “We are determined to support children and others with special needs. The Edo HIP programme will be strengthened to help people with Autism manage the condition.”

According to the Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres, “we speak out against discrimination, celebrate the diversity of our global community and strengthen our commitment to the full inclusion and participation of people with autism. Supporting them to achieve their full potential is a vital part of our efforts to uphold the core promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to leave no one behind.”