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SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES ON HANDICAPPED PERSONS IN NIGERIA

SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES ON HANDICAPPED PERSONS IN

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SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES ON HANDICAPPED PERSONS IN NIGERIA

CHAPITRE ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The topic of welfare services exists in Nigeria with the goal of aiding disadvantaged people to help themselves. The government has the right to safeguard and promote the interests of its citizens by addressing the social difficulties that disabled people face in society.

Handicap refers to the difficulties that a person with a handicap or impairment faces when interacting with their surroundings; it can be caused by physical, mental, or sensory reasons, and it can make a person appear aberrant in society. The World Health Organisation, on the other , defines “handicap” as any constraint or lack of ability to do an activity in a way or range regarded normal for a human being (World Health Organisation, 1996).

Cultures all over the world have essentially identical conceptions or beliefs of what a ‘normal' human body is, and when that ‘normal' is deviated from, society can react in any of the following ways: shock, humiliation, sympathy, or denial.

Being handicapped can range from a person's inability to walk on both feet unaided, talk, hear, or see without glasses, which causes the impaired person to suffer from inferiority complexes as well as limitations in the degree of participation in the normal life of the community, either partially or completely excluded (Momoh, 1997).

There appears to be no society that does not include handicapped or crippled people. Their weakness or vulnerability originates from a physical handicap that prevents them from competing or equating with other members of society.

However, the government and even non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have put in place several welfare services and packages to bridge the gap in society between handicapped and non-handicapped people.

 

Welfare, on the other hand, covers all such activities as its goal and encompasses the entire society as its field of action. The government provides welfare services in sectors such as health, education, housing, transportation, and social security.

To fulfil these tasks, the government must create a vision, mission, ethic declarations, and rules to serve as a standard against which its success can be measured (Ekpe and Mamah, 1997). Thus, the government plays an important role since handicapped individuals and organisations rely on the government for protection, care, and survival.

Welfare services, whether in Nigeria or elsewhere, are critical to society. Welfare is defined as the general good of the entire society, with no reference to a specific evil or evils, and with no discrimination between high and low, rich and poor.

The poor and needy, the helpless and underprivileged, the underdeveloped and unlucky require attention and care, and all welfare operations are designed to provide this attention and care so that they can achieve a normal average level of living. Any state or government worth its name must consider the welfare of its citizens, including the poorest and most vulnerable (Ade, 1986).

Various efforts, however, have been made to enhance the lives of handicapped people in society. In Akwa Ibom state, for example, special schools have been constructed where people can obtain both educational and vocational training.

This can enable handicapped people to fend for themselves and contribute positively to the growth of society. In addition, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare (MWASW) in Akwa Ibom state operates rehabilitation centres such as the Co-operative Industries of Nigeria, a shoemaking workshop for the handicapped, the Itu leprosy clinic, the Arts and craft training centre, St. Joseph's remedial training centre, and the St. Louis centre. All of this is done to combat begging, malnutrition, delinquency, illiteracy, and reliance (Dailysun Newspaper 24; 12; 2014).

According to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) survey, approximately 10% of any given population are Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). In Nigerian , this equates to 14 million persons out of a total population of around 140 million (National Census figures, 2006).

As a result, the WHO organises and coordinates initiatives like community-based rehabilitation (CBR), which focuses on improving the quality of life of handicapped individuals and their families, addressing basic requirements, and ensuring inclusion and involvement.

It is a multi-pronged technique that enables handicapped people to have access to and benefit from education, employment, health, and social services. CBR is implemented through the collaborative efforts of handicapped and disabled persons, their families and communities, as well as necessary government and non-government health, education, vocational, social, and other services.

Handicapped people may be adopted by one or more groups or volunteers who would pay their school fees, teach them in various vocations, and offer walking aids such as boots, callipers, crutches, wheelchairs, tricycles, and so on. All of these are realistic social issues that members of the community should address as part of their community participation in CBR programmes in their various localities.

Nigeria, as a component community, is obligated to accept relevant programmes recognised by WHO for the benefit of the underprivileged and disabled elements of every society. A convention is required to develop or unify regulations for the provision and protection of handicapped individuals.

Such a convention should emphasise the importance of legislative, administrative, judicial, and constitutional measures at the national level to ensure that people with disabilities fully realise and enjoy their human rights in the of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.

Despite government assistance, visible data shows that the majority of handicapped individuals in Uyo city still walk around begging for alms to survive, causing annoyance in the streets, school premises, churches, and so on. Begging as a way of life was and still is frowned upon in this section of the country.

Because it was nearly a taboo for a family to let its members to beg for alms, each family kept and helped its handicapped member(s). These disabled people should not be confined within the family and cared for; instead, they should be given vocational training in areas like as weaving, bag making, mat making, carving, and so on in order to make them productive members of society (Ijere, 1978).

As a result, the purpose of this is to uncover potential methods and means of providing vital welfare services to disabled people in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

1.2 SATATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Over the years, studies undertaken by Nigerian scholars have revealed that disabled people face a variety of obstacles, including a lack of social services, an inferiority complex, and limitations in their ability to participate in society's regular life.

According to a CLEEN foundation report (2004), birth deformities and health concerns, oil pipeline explosions and road accidents, and other causes are to blame for handicapped situations. Handicapped persons have long faced prejudice, discrimination, and deprivation of basic social services due to their incapacity to cope at the same level as able-bodied people in similar circumstances.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, there are 19 million handicapped people in the country. Many people in Nigeria regard crippled people as a misfortune. They face discrimination even within their own families.

As a result, Nigerians have been denied their rights to the dignity of the human person, to the development of their full potential, and to participate in the development of the society. The subject of welfare services for disabled people is currently causing some worry in Nigerian society, and the noticeably insufficient empirical research on this topic, particularly in Uyo city, has sparked a great interest in this research.

Also, to emphasise to the government and other agencies the importance of providing vital welfare services to handicapped people, as well as to address knowledge gaps and ways in which handicapped people in Uyo can be independent and socially integrated into society.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Because handicapped people are unable to engage in normal family and community life, they become maladjusted as a result of a sense of inequity, loss of status, and other symptoms of “not belonging.” Handicapped people in contemporary society have presented obstacles to those who provide education and rehabilitation for them. Provision for and changes to services to accommodate them have produced issues that have sparked ingenuity and imagination in the search for appropriate answers.

This study's objectives are thus to accomplish the following:

To investigate the role of the government and other organisations in improving the lives of disabled people in the state.
To look for solutions for policymakers to create legislation that prevent handicapped people from being discriminated against in the state.
To emphasise potential welfare assistance available to handicapped people.
To assess the effectiveness and limitations of welfare programmes for handicapped people.
The Importance of the Research
The importance of this study cannot be overstated. First, it will help to educate individuals, particularly handicapped people, about their rights and privileges provided by the government in society.

Second, the study will help guardians, social workers, and the general public in Nigeria adopt measures that would help handicapped people improve their level of living and overall well-being. Third, the research will be useful to others who may want to conduct similar research in a more extensive way.

1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The issues and challenges of handicapped people in Uyo city will be severely addressed in this study. Also highlighted will be the critical welfare programmes and policies put in place by the government to meet their fundamental requirements.

However, due to its broad geographical scope, the study would be limited to three randomly selected sampled streets in Uyo metropolis. Because to time and schedule constraints, three streets were chosen. As a result, the sampled streets chosen will represent the population sampled for the study inside Uyo metropolitan.

1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The hypothesis is a provisional statement of the expected relationship between two or more variables that must be empirically proven. The following hypotheses will be developed and tested in Null (Ho) and alternative (H1) forms.

Ho: There is no statistically significant link between social marginalisation and handicapped people.

H1: There is a strong link between social marginalisation and handicapped people.

Ho: There is no statistically significant link between a lack of occupational training and handicapped people.

H1: There is a significant link between a lack of occupational training and disabled people.

Ho: There is no link between insufficient health-care services and handicapped people.

H1: There is a significant link between insufficient health care services and disabled people.

1.7 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS

This study's definition of will help readers comprehend the meaning of terms used in the study.

WELFARE SERVICES: These are organised activities that are primarily and directly concerned with the consideration of human resource protection and improvement, such as social services, social assistance, children welfare, public health, education, recreation, labour, and housing.

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION: Vocational education is education that takes place in vocational schools and educates students for a specific trade. It immediately builds competence in technology, talent, and scientific technique to cover all elements of the craft. For example, weaving, bag making, basket making, mat making, carving, and so on.

HANDICAPPED PERSONS: People who live with impairments that severely limit their capacity to function physically, mentally, or socially.

PROGRAMMES: A plan of what will be done or included in order for development to occur.

POLICY: This is a set of rules and regulations that outline what should be done.

DISCRIMINATION: Discrimination is defined as the treatment or consideration of, or the making of a distinction in favour of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing is considered to belong rather than on individual merit.

SOCIAL MARGINALISATION: In this study, social marginalisation refers to the process through which disabled persons are pushed to the periphery of a group in society and given less value. It is also primarily a sociological phenomenon that occurs when a minority or sub-group is excluded and their wants or desires are ignored.

ORGANISATIONS: A social unit of individuals or a body that is structured and managed to address a need or achieve a common purpose.

WELL-BEING: A good or satisfactory state of being; a state characterised by a person's health, happiness, and prosperity.

HEALTH CARE SERVICES: In this study, the term “health care services” refers to the provision of medicine, medical or surgical treatment, and any other necessary services of a similar nature, whether or not contingent on sickness or personal injury, as well as the provision of any and all other services and goods to any person for the purpose of preventing, alleviating, curing, or healing human illness, physical disability, or injury.

SOCIAL WELFARE: This is defined as a system of laws, policies, benefits, and services that reinforce or ensure provisions for addressing basic social requirements for the population and the operation of the social order.

COMMUNITY SERVICE:

Social work is a that focuses on assisting individuals, families, groups, and communities in improving their individual and communal well-being. It strives to assist people in developing their skills and capacity to use their own and the community's resources to solve challenges.

It is organised work aimed at improving social conditions in the community, such as aiming to improve the situation of the poor, promoting the welfare of children, handicapped people, and the less fortunate, and so on.

SOCIAL SECURITY: Social security is a production programme that protects individuals and their families against certain contingencies such as unemployment, old age, industrial accidents, and invalidity, against which individuals cannot be expected to protect themselves and their families using their own abilities and resources. As a general rule, this general purpose of social protection is secured by various forms of public aid.

DISABILITY: Disability is the result of a physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these impairments. It is a complicated phenomenon that reflects a relationship between physical qualities of a person and societal factors.

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