By: Mukhtar Garba Kobi
Giving birth is a blessing which Almighty God bestows some of His servants; some give birth to healthy children while others give birth to disabled ones. If parents give birth to physically challenged children it does not mean they are not pious but it is to test their faiths whether they would cherish or dump them.
Disability therefore is any condition of the body or mind that makes it hard for a person with that condition to perform certain activities.
Disabilities include total blindness, low vision, leprosy, stammering, hearing impairment, limbless, etc majorly due to health complications while others are naturally born like that.
The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that over 200 million people need glasses and do not have access to them, 70 million people need a wheelchair but only 5 to 15% have access to one. Estimates of 360 million people have moderate profound hearing loss and only 10% of global needs of hearing aids are met which is very unfortunate. Low income increases the risk of giving birth to infants with disabilities because of malnutrition, unavailability of basic health care, polluted environments and contaminated drinking water, etc.
World Health Organization (WHO) further stated that disability has 3 dimensions; the first one is the impairment which affects person’s body structure or function. Second dimension is activity limitation which make the victim have difficulty in seeing, hearing, walking or problem solving and the last one is participation restrictions especially in normal activities such as working, social and recreational activities. Some key causes of disabilities comprise poor access to effective health care, high poverty level which leads to malnutrition, negligence to sicknesses of pregnant women, dangerous working conditions, and inherited disabilities.
In many instances, some people with disabilities have passion to pursue education or acquire skills in order to be independents but difficulties and stigmatization they might undergo makes them relinquish their ambitions. In an interview with one disabled lady studying Mass Communication in Kaduna institution said that during her first year of study, she often fell in to a ditch or from stairs of lecture halls on almost daily basis and sadly none of her mate care to offer a help. Such is just one out of multitude similar incidences in societies. We have seen how disabled vendors suffer whenever they asked about their money; buyers unashamedly threaten to inflict injuries on them.
Encouragingly, people with disabilities should bear in minds and believe on their talents that they could do even better than physically fit persons. The transition to working life might seem uncertain if a person is disabled but merrily there are plenty works that they could do, a deaf person could energetically work in factories. Also, a blind man could perfectly work on radio station, a limbless chef that cook delicacies could employ more people and start a restaurant. Likewise a limbless man or woman could be a mechanic, cashier, electrician, typist, carpenter or any work that do not require long walks.
Advisably, parents should be partial in treating their children including disabled ones; pampering fit ones and neglecting disabled ones should be avoided because they all deserve to be loved and cared for. Medical checkups need to be carried out atleast once in a month in order for all family members to know their status and be consuming balanced diets. Governments and private owned companies need to be including qualified physically challenged persons whenever they are employing new staffs. Pursuing education by disabled person should be free of charge; this would encourage them to enroll into schools and achieve their dreams.
Conclusively, people with disabilities that are trained on skills should be financially supported along with necessary items to practicalise what they have learned for them to be self-reliant. Support disabled persons, be a reason for their smiles not their anguish!!