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Tragic Mother abandons child afflicted with cerebral palsy at hospital

A 4-year-old child afflicted with cerebral palsy has been abandoned by her mother at a General Hospital in Lagos.

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Cerebral palsy is a condition which inhibits proper growth and movement of her body.

It was learnt that her unidentified mother had sometime last year left the child with her grandmother, identified as Nike Owoyeni, and fled, Punch reports.

Our correspondent learnt that Owoyeni took the victim to the hospital around December, 2014, where she was reportedly treated and discharged the same day.

It was also gathered that Owoyeni, after leaving the hospital, headed for the Ogba area of the state and dumped her granddaughter beside a parked truck. The child was said to have been seen by a resident, who took her back to The Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital.

It was said that neither the child’s mother nor the grandmother had shown up since she was admitted about seven months ago.

Punch learnt that efforts to reach Owoyeni, who claimed that she resided in the Alagbado area, had been futile as a phone number she gave at the hospital reportedly indicated ‘wrong number.’

When the child was visited at the Children's Ward of the hospital on Wednesday, it was observed that a straw was passed into her body through the mouth region.

A senior official at the Social Welfare Department of the hospital, who identified herself only as Obilana, said the victim’s condition was very critical when she was brought, adding that the hospital management had been doing all it could to save her life.

She said, “She is suffering from cerebral palsy. She should be four or five years old, but looked extremely skinny. Her body was very stiff when she was brought here last year. But we have recorded some improvement. She also had a body odour, which has gone now. She has started looking fresh. We attend to her every day. She is fed through the straw in her mouth.”

A nurse, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the child needed to be given a special treatment.

She said, “This is the first time a child will be abandoned in this hospital. We have been doing our best for the child, but she needs a special placement, where she can have access to adequate treatment. In this case, the ministry of health needs to intervene.”

The hospital’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Adeola Abimbola, said the hospital was making efforts to ensure there was a rapid improvement on the child’s condition. She also enjoined parents not to give up on their wards in the face of health challenges.

She said:

“The first time she was brought here by her grandmother, we treated her and she was discharged on the same day. It was a man that later brought her back from where she was dumped.

The woman (grandmother) did not specify where she lives in Alagbado and that is why it is difficult for us to locate her. We later discovered that the phone number she gave is fake. We have been doing all we can for the child and we are trying to get her a special placement.

No matter how serious the ailment may be, dumping a child at a place or abandoning him/her in a hospital should never be an option.”

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