Yohane Chideya -Mana
The country’s First Lady, Madame Gertrude Mutharika, has expressed need for more support to children with intellectual disability in the country, saying the children can contribute to the country’s development.
She said this in an interview Thursday after touring St John of God’s Elvira School of Special Education in Mzuzu.
She said though raising a child of such a condition is very difficult, there is still need for more support to help them grow just like any other person.
“I am very much happy with what the institution (St John of God) is doing, by educating children with intellectual disability and autism. I wish there were more people of such calibre to assist such children,
“What excites me most is that the condition of the children is improving and, thereafter, they are being repatriated back to their families so that they should proceed with school under normal circumstances just like any other child,” she said.
However, Madame Mutharika stressed the need for more awareness to parents who have children of such condition but may not know how to care for them and looking for assistance.
She, therefore, commended St John of God for the good work done to the intellectually retarded children and has since called for people of good will and organizations to come forward to assist such children.
In his remarks, St John of God Director of Services, Charles Masulani, commended the first lady’s visit, saying it signaled her concern for the children’s intellectual disability.
“We are very much appreciative with the first lady’s visit and this demonstrates the commitment she has with children with special needs, and it also cements the relationship which is there because we don’t work on isolation, but in partnership with government.
“Her visit will also heighten public awareness of what we do because up to now, some do not know what the institution does apart from being just a mental health service provider, so it’s an opportunity,” said Masulani.
He said children with intellectual disability can improve and reach a certain level of activity and self-dependency and bring hope to these children’s parents. He added that there is still something these children can do in their respective families and the community at large.
St John of God has about 80 children at its special needs school. There are also other 250 children of such condition under home-based care in various townships of the city.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :