NAS Enugu And Emene Rehabilitation Centre

Emene Rehabilitation Centre

Rehabilitation Centres or Homes have a long history dating back to ancient times, where individuals with disabilities or illnesses were cared for by their communities. In Igbo culture and tradition, the society accepts and reintegrate back healed formerly mentally challenged persons or terminal/communicable disease survivors. This is as a result of the Onye Aghana Nwanne Ya and Etu Nwanne Adi Na spirit. However, in the course of societal advancement, colonial authorities introduced special homes/centres for such persons into the polity – largely due to stigmatisation and ostracisation.

It is instructive to note that the concept of structured rehabilitation began to emerge in the early 19th century in Western Europe with the establishment of institutions focused on providing care and treatment for people with physical or mental disabilities. Today, it has metamorphosed into varying service centres: physical therapy, occupational therapy, substance abuse treatment, mental health support, amongst others. Such homes play crucial role in helping individuals recover from injuries, illnesses, or other challenges and regain independence and quality life with which to confront and be part of a competitive society.

The National Rehabilitation Centre in Emene, Enugu State; established in 1980 by the Federal Government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari is a government-run facility dedicated to providing rehabilitation services for individuals with physical disabilities. It offers a range of services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and vocational training to help people with disabilities regain independence and improve their quality of life. The Centre plays a vital role in the local community by providing specialised care and support to the individuals who face challenges due to disabilities. Additionally, it also serves as a hub for advocacy and awareness-raising efforts to promote the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in the society.

As a result of years of neglect and abandonment, the Centre now known as Welfare Home is being managed by the Enugu State Government through the Ministry of Children, Gender Affairs and Social Development after a successful takeover in 1999. However, a visit to the Centre leaves much to be desired and one is forced to ask: Does human being inhabit the Centre? Can an individual be truly rehabilitated in the Centre? Is there a difference between where the inmates are coming from and the Centre? The level of infrastructural decay as well as absence of basic social amenities for the smooth running of the Centre can be imagined, not experienced. But that is the lot of the Centre!

It is on this note that we, the National Association of Seadogs aka Pyrates Confraternity, Enugu branch wish to use this medium to draw the plight of the Centre and it’s inhabitants to the State Government. In a special way, we appreciate the Governor of the State, Barr Dr Peter Ndubuisi Mbah for his proactiveness in fulfilling his campaign promises to the people; the prompt delivering of the water project in 180 days, the various road construction going on simultaneously across the State to ease vehicular movement of goods and services, the modern Smart Schools with teachers quarter, the Type 2 Hospitals with staff quarters, the ongoing reconstruction of the long abandoned International Conference Centre, prompt payment of workers’ salaries, amongst other numerous people oriented projects and policies.

We understand the paucity of funds amidst ever increasing macro economic demands; but we urge the Governor/Government to include the Centre amongst his priority list. His Excellency should have it at the back of his mind that a society is judged by how it treats the least and handicapped people among itself.

On our part, we will do the little we can as an Association that protects the weak and a voice for the voiceless. We will assist in providing some of the recurrent materials – the much we can. But the huge infrastructural decay can only be fixed by the Government as well as good spirited and philanthropic individuals and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Let’s strive to treat the inhabitants of the Centre like human beings they are. Together, we can create a better society.

Joey Mazeli
Chapter President
NAS/PC Enugu

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