The College of Medicine, University of Lagos held the inauguration of Center for Autism and Neuro-developmental Disorders (CAND-Do) on the 28th February, 2018. The venue was the Old Great Hall and it commenced at about 10a.m.

After the opening prayer, the dignitaries were called to the high table after which the opening remark was given by Prof. Mbakwe, President of Lagos University Medical Society (LUMS).

Prof Aina, the representative for the Dean of Clinical Sciences, made more remarks on the significance of this event. He mentioned that CAND-Do was established to bridge the gap between the society and children with neuro- developmental disorders.

The first speaker, Air Vice Marshal, Femi Gbadebo (OFR), spoke on the issue of cerebral palsy, it was a very touching speech especially as we found out that his Non-Governmental Organisation – BENOLA Cerebral Palsy Initiative was created because of his experience with his son who suffers from cerebral palsy but is being very well managed. He encouraged individuals not to be ignorant of cerebral palsy and to also create massive campaigns to make people identify the disorders on time and seek help. He also pointed to the role the society has to play in ensuring that people open up and present their children with this disorder without being ashamed. Lastly, he encouraged us to participate in the HELLO Challenge whereby we say HELLO to parents of the children with this disorder instead of just staring.

The next speaker, Dr Oshodi, a Consultant, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, she mentioned that the focus of the centre is the development of resource and services around autism and neuro-developmental disorders. She said, it all started with monthly support groups in December 2013, attended mostly by parents of autistic children, the initiative came about finally in 2015, necessitating a centre for research. She ended her presentation with this quote, “it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village”.

Dr Muideen Bakare, the Chairman of Childhood Neuro-psychiatric Disorders Initiative (CNDI) was the next  speaker, he talked about the first documented case in Nigeria which was in 1972 and how research and publications in this field can help us as a society.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development services who is  the former Provost of College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL), acknowledged the achievement of CAND-DO and expressed her joy that the centre was finally been inaugurated.

The final guest speaker,  Prof. Ukpokolo, a Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan, mentioned that “these disorders are not disorders, but differently ordered”.

The Provost, Prof. Lesi, gave his appreciation to all speakers and attendees, after which the members of the high table proceeded to unveil CAND-DO officially.

The awards were given by Prof. Osinubi, the H.O.D. of Anatomy Department, CMUL , followed by the vote of thanks by Prof. Adeyemi, the Director of CAND-DO and the Dean of Faculty of Clinical Sciences, CMUL.

You can be a part of CAND-DO as a volunteer, partner, care giver of a person with neuro-developmental disorder or as a professional.

For more information, you can send an email to canddo@unilag.edu.ng



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