Foundation Advocates Increased Awareness on Brain Injuries, Neurological Conditions

Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Brain and Spine Foundation Africa, a non-governmental organisation, has called for increased awareness on brain injuries, neurological conditions and its traumatic effects on victims.

Neurological conditions it noted include brain aneurysm, brain tumor or cancer, traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury and tumor, dementia among others.

The foundation made the call at an Art Gala event, organised for survivors, caregivers as well as stakeholders in Abuja.

Founder, Miss Chika Okwuolisa, said it was important to raise awareness around the condition as most people spiritualise and attribute it to the “works of the enemy”.

Okwuolisa noted that most patients and families continue to struggle with it, as there is little or no idea of the conditions especially in rural communities.

According to her, these are conditions that so many people do not talk about or even have the slightest idea of what it means, until one encounters a first-hand experience.

“A brain aneurysm for example is a weakness in a blood vessel in the brain that balloons and fills with blood and it ruptures every 18 minutes.

“The ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 50 per cent of cases, while 66 per cent of those who survive suffer some permanent neurological deficit.

“Approximately 15 per cent of people with ruptured aneurysm die before reaching the hospital because most of the deaths are due to rapid and massive brain injury from the initial bleeding,” she said.

The founder added that there had been unnecessary deaths and suffering of the hospitals, especially the primary health care centres as most of them do not have first aid intervention for neurological emergencies.

“Collectively, we have lost our mothers, fathers, spouses, cousins, children, sister, brother, best friends to some of these conditions.

“But the truth remains that most of us are not even aware that we lost them to these conditions due to lack of awareness.”

Okwuolisa further hinted that the foundation decided to use art to tell the stories of the victims and to help assist them in their rehabilitation process.

“Neurology and art may not seem like a natural connection, but to us in this community, it is. Art touches the core aspect of everything we do, though neurological conditions are complex and oftentimes complicated.

“Art helps the survivors and the grieving families lean on different forms of artistic expression to find their pathway during rehabilitation and recovery and it helps us remain connected to both ourselves and the world,” she added.

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