Empathy And Support For Those With Spinal Cord Injuries In Nigeria

By: Ayo Awobona

Today is International Spinal Cord Injury Day, a significant occasion that serves as a reminder of the difficulties experienced by people who have suffered spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and the value of ensuring their access to basic services. The emphasis of this year’s theme, “Access to SCI Services: A Life Less Complicated,” emphasizes how important it is to guarantee that those who have SCIs have equitable access to the resources and assistance they need to live happy and full lives.

One of the most serious and complicated medical disorders somebody can have is a spinal cord injury. They can be caused by accidents, mishaps, falls, sports injuries, medical conditions, or other factors, and the effects can be severe. The communication between the brain and the rest of the body is hampered when the spinal cord is injured. This can result in a variety of disabilities, such as paralysis, loss of feeling, and changes in bodily functions such as sexual, bladder, and bowel control.

Living with an SCI frequently entails facing physical, emotional, and social challenges that can make life seem overwhelmingly complicated and incredibly difficult. For persons with SCIs, simple tasks like getting dressed, using the restroom, or even moving around can become everyday obstacles. In addition, dealing with a life-changing injury can have a significant emotional toll, which can result in depression, anxiety, isolation, and feelings of loneliness.

The theme of this year’s Spinal Cord Injury Day is the crucial role that accessible services play in simplifying the lives of individuals with SCIs. These services, access to comprehensive rehabilitation and high-quality medical care, which will ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment, surgeries when necessary, and ongoing physical and occupational therapy to maximize recovery.

Recognizing the importance and cruciality of accessible SCI services like access to education and employment opportunities is essential in achieving independence and financial stability, as well as ensuring that public spaces and transportation are accessible and promote inclusion. We want to implore the government to improve and invest in healthcare infrastructure and ensure that there are specialized SCI centers across Nigeria, ensure there is an accessible and inclusive environment as well as create and enforce policies that prevent discrimination.

The Society should kindly recognize the resilience and humanity of individuals with spinal cord injuries which will help to imbibe a culture of empathy and inclusion. Let us extend a helping hand and compassionate hearts to these individuals, empower them to lead fulfilling lives, and contribute to our diverse society.

We urged every sector of society to prioritize the needs of those with SCIs. By collaborating to break down barriers, we can build a more compassionate and accepting society where everyone has the chance to live a full life, regardless of their physical capabilities.

If you can help the spinal cord injury community in Nigeria, especially Ogun State, kindly reach me at 08062687227; I’ll put you in touch with a group nearer to you.

I am
Ayo Awobona
Chairman, Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria – Ogun State Chapter
SouthWest Coordinator, Rebuilding Hope on Wheels Initiatives

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