- Adeyinka Akintunde
AS the world marked the World Disability Day on Sunday, December 3, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Alumni Association, Lagos State chapter, paid a courtesy visit to Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria, Lagos. The alumni visited the home with a Christmas token to show love to the children.
The items presented to the home include, two bags of rice, five cartons of Indomie and toiletries. Victor Obineme, president of the alumni, said the children were talented and had a lot to offer the society, and they would do so effectively if they could get much encouragement and support from the government.
He appealed to the federal and state governments, and corporate bodies to render more assistance to children living with down-syndrome disability. “I can’t see much intervention from government especially, what I am seeing here is the intervention of private bodies, and individuals. As you can see, these children are multi-talented, they can sing, they have actors and movie stars among them and they are into vocational trainings. It will be a good thing if they get government intervention and sponsorship on a regular basis,” he said.
Ann Isaiah, a caretaker of the children in the house, thanked the UNIZIK alumni on behalf of the Rose Moody, president, Down Syndrome Foundation, for the visit and the gifts. Speaking to Realnews, she said “all we do here is to show love to children suffering the down-syndrome disability. We love them, pray with them, teach them, play with them and guide them to be who God has created them to be.”
According to Isaiah, the children have been coming to the home based on the advert that the foundation is placing in the media, and sometimes after going out on charity walk, and special programmes.
She spoke about disability as being caused by excess chromosome in a child. She said: “It happens when a child gets forty-seven chromosome as against forty-six everyone is expected to have (with the male and female producing twenty-three chromosome each, during sexual intercourse). This can lead to problems like congenital heart defects, respiratory problems, hearing problems, among others, which are treatable, and thus, people with this disease still live healthy lives.”
Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are: low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes and a single deep crease across the centre of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual.
– Dec. 4, 2017 @ 10:37 GMT