*experts pinpoint early identification and awareness as panacea
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Barnawa Kaduna today join the world in creating awareness for autism technically termed Autism Spectrum Disorder, a mental and developmental disorder in children.
Speaking at the event, the Medical Director of the Hospital Professor Abdulkareem Jika Yusuf who was represented by the Head of Clinical Services Dr. David Ewoada said ‘’ funding of mental Health challenges has always being a problem, because most people who had mental health challenges cannot fund the medications, in most cases friends and well wishers would have to come in. We are pleading with Government to assist in making funds available for effective management of autism in Nigeria even though as professionals we can do the non-biological which is mostly without drugs’’
On solution centres, Dr. Folorunsho Nuhu consultant, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric heading Child and Adolescent Unit in the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Kaduna maintained that, ‘’ although the event today is low key, but we just feel we have to start and now that we have started we will build on the successes. I think this is the first of its kind in the Northern Part of Nigeria, this will create awareness for the parents teachers and students, a lot of people do not know that it even exist, I call on parent who have children that exhibits such strange altitude of not socializing, difficulty in talking and so many others to come to the Hospital for proper counseling as going to prayer houses and traditional herbal medicines won’t work for autism.
Earlier in a lecture on Effective Management of Autism, Dr. Asabe Omokaro said, ‘’for drug management you can see instant results, those mal-adaptive behaviors like biting themselves, swinging their hands and running up and down can be manage pharmacologically and we have seen good result. The other aspect is a challenge because it is multi tasking educationists, psychologists, speech and language therapist and nutritionist for good referral system.’’
Also speaking on behalf of the sponsor of the event, Pharmacist Augustine Baje, Regional Manager of Pharmatex Nigerian Limited the sole agent to Hovid products said their products are known for innovation, quality and are standing tall in the market delivering health care to the people. We have it as our future plan to expand our strategies so as to create more awareness for autism, this is deliberate so that parents and the society as a whole get the desired awareness and since it’s a multi-discipline approach we will continue to partner with institutions like this to drive the awareness process.’’