Kano State Governor, in northwest Nigeria, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has said that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the health challenges of persons living with disability, most especially spinal cord injury victims.
The governor, represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nasir Yusif Gawuna, expressed the view in Kano on Saturday at a ceremony to mark the International Spinal Cord Injury Day.
The event was organised by Spinal Cord Injury Association of Nigeria, Kano State Chapter in collaboration with Kano State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
He expressed sadness over the plight of persons with disability and promised to provide facilities that would help improve their lives, according to a statement from the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Hassan Musa Fagge.
“Survival of people with disability, particularly victims of Spinal Cord injuries in this era of COVID-19, is equally challenging most especially when the ingredients and consumables required for the enhancement of lives of the victims are getting unaffordable due to the socio-economic realities of the moment,” the governor said
He said the government would provide a modern MIR machine for the assessment of spinal cord injury victims at Muhammad Buhari Specialist Hospital, Kano.
The governor added, ” it is hoped that these items will be properly utilised to enhance your operations and I want to assure you that this administration will continue to do more to alleviate the suffering of your members through various palliative measures.”
Alhaji Sale Aliyu Jili, the Executive Director of SEMA, called for the establishment of a rehabilitation centre in the state for people suffering from spinal cord injuries.
Jili said, “The agency has done everything possible amidst the pandemic crisis towards catering to the health of persons with disability,”
The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, represented by Fagacin Kano, Alhaji Habibu Bello Dankadai, appealed to the government and corporate organisaltlions to support persons living with disability.
The Chairman of Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria, Kano State chapter, Mr Abdul Haruna, explained that the International Spinal Cord Society decided to observe the commemoration of Spinal Cord Injury Day on September 5 every year to call attention to the plight of people suffering from the condition.