Provide Psycho-Social Support For Caregivers Of Children With Autism -Rafat

By Onyeche Idris, Abuja

The Executive Director of the Okenite Foundation for Special Needs Children Hajia Rafatu Salami has called on the government to expand inclusive healthcare services for women, to those caring for children with disabilities.

Hajia Rafatu made the call in Abuja at the Voices for Women’s Health high-level meeting organized by the She Forum Africa in collaboration with Pathfinder International and the Nigerian ministry for women’s affairs.

In her contribution to the conversation about setting agenda for the incoming administration to focus on improving women’s health, Hajia Rafatu said “often neglected or perhaps not even recognized is the fact that those who have special needs children have a dire need for social support as they go through unimaginable stress levels that can hinder their ability to provide proper care for their ward”.

“We have seen women going into complete mental breakdown, depression and lacking any willpower to live because the task of caring for the child with a disability can be as we provide care for people with disabilities, let’s also provide the needed psychological care for the caregivers who in most cases are women.”, she appealed.

Also during the high-level meeting, panelist Helen Beyioku-Alase who is the president of, the Deaf Women Aloud initiative, said despite all legislations in the country, the health of women with disabilities is still not prioritized and healthcare provision is yet to be inclusive.

Co-convener of the meeting Ms. Inimfok Etuk said the meeting was convened to set agenda for the incoming administration saying, “…it is time to mobilize a multi-sectoral effort to shape new priorities that will enhance quality, supportive and effective decision-making as they affect women’s health.”.