The Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa under the United Nations, Vera Songwe in her speech singled out Omega Power ministry (OPM), a faith-based organization that had built free schools for children with autism in River State Nigeria, and the Zeebah Foundation a not-for-profit organization in Lagos Nigeria.
The ECA secretary, Songwe thanked the general overseer of OPM, Apostle Chibuzur Chinyere who is also dubbed as an Icon of free education in Nigeria with two tuition- free schools in River State to support children born with autism while remarking during an event organized by the UN Department of Global Communications and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, with the support of civil society partners including the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Global Autism Project to commemorate 2022 WAAD.
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Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
Speaking during an awareness campaign held at Oworonshoki of Lagos State, Songwe said: “Today is the autism awareness Day, and we were charged to help support victim of autism by helping individuals understand what autism is”.
Adding, “it is not a disease, it is something children can be successful with. According to the National Autism Association, Autism affects 1 in 59 children. The bio-neurological developmental disability usually presents itself by the age of three, and it is more prevalent in boys than girls”.