By Ayodeji Ake
The Empathy Driven Women Initiative International (EDWIIN), a nongovernmental organisation, has gifted 200 persons living with albinism free eye screening and special eye glasses.
Speaking at the third edition of EDWIIN Care programme in Lagos recently, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo preached against stigmatisation and discrimination of people living with disabilities.
Speaking on ‘The disabled, the law, his health’, he highlighted policies and acts that have been passed and formulated by the federal government and the state to the credit of people with disabilities.
“The provision of the signed Act by the president early this year is that persons with disabilities are entitled to free medical care in every government-owned medical facility in Nigeria without paying a dime. This is a good one and I will also implore them to take advantage of this golden opportunity,” he said.
Charging the participants, Fabamwo cited cases of popular legends who were born with disabilities but have exemplary lives and became part of world history. He mentioned Frida, Hobert Newton and Stevie Wonder, among others.
The Executive Director, Punch Newspapers Group, Mrs. Angela Emuwa, who doubles as the President of Autism Parents Association of Nigeria and the Chairperson of the event, urged that people living with disability should be embraced by the society.
“I have a son with autism and I know what it’s like, but I don’t allow anybody to intimidate me, I just go out there and make sure that he’s accepted wherever he goes. So, I love to associate with this kind of things because I believe that we need to wake up to the fact that people are different, so we all have to accept and understand our differences,” she said.
She commended the government for the Disability Act, adding that the venture will make people realise they are not all the same.
The Convener and Founder, EDWIIN, Uri Ngozichukwuka, said the event was channeled on advocacy, providing special assistance for people living with albinism and the disabled, and educating them on self-protection.
“This year, we are focusing on people with albinism, as well as educate them on how to protect themselves from harmful ultraviolet rays, and fight pervasive myths and stigmas, including false beliefs propagated by rogue witch doctors that albino body parts can bring good luck or fortune,” she said.