171st Inaugural: Frank-Briggs Makes Case For Children With Developmental Disorder

By Humphrey Ogu


Protecting the rights and improving the quality of life of children with neurological and developmental disorder were the focus of the 171st Inaugural Lecture delivered by Professor Angela Frank-Briggs at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium on Thursday, July 29, 2021.

Delivering the Lecture entitled: “Accidents of Nature: Survival and Sequelae,” Frank-Briggs who is of the Department of Paediatric and Child Health, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, said her topic highlighted some accidents in the field of Paediatric Neurology and their consequences on survival.

“As we seek to attain sustainable development goals, in the spirit of universal health coverage, all affected children should be supported to improve their quality of life,” Frank-Briggs, who is a Professor of Paediatric Neurology and Neuro-developmental Disorder recommended.

“A Paediatric or Child Neurologist is a doctor that diagnoses and manages diseases and disorders that affect the nervous system in children who are persons aged from birth to 18 years as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of the 1989 and the Nigerian Child Rights Act,” she explained.

“As a Paediatric Neurologist, accidents of nature that affect the nervous system, which is made up of the Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) and the Peripheral Nervous System (nerves) are my focus,” the Inaugural Lecturer pointed out.

Citing Article 23 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Frank-Briggs said: “Every child with disability should enjoy the best possible life in society. Governments should remove all obstacles for children with disabilities to become independent and participate actively in the community.” 

She called on government to implement the various instruments available to address disability and mitigate the challenges such children face, emphasising the need for government to put in place the appropriate legislation, provide special programmes, counselling centres, educational and maternal health interventions as measures to tackle the challenges.

Frank-Briggs, whose contributions to knowledge covers teaching, research and clinical services, noted that she had trained over 2000 medical students in the past 15 years and supervised postgraduate dissertations in Paediatric Neurology, adding that some of her former students are already lecturers in the Paediatric and Child health.

“In research, I have contributed to knowledge with over 50 papers in local and international conferences, some of which have won international awards. I have published 10 chapters in books and 50 peer-reviewed journal articles,” she added.

Speaking after the Lecture, Vice Chancellor, Professor Owunari Georgewill, who commended the Inaugural Lecturer for a well-delivered Lecture, said: “You will all agree with me that this is a five-star performance by an erudite scholar who was able to hold the audience spellbound while delivering the Lecture.” He noted that the Inaugural Lecturer has shown that everyone in society is directly or indirectly affected by the burden of developmental disorder in children. The Vice Chancellor stressed the need for all to support the advocacy for the improvement of quality of life of children with special needs.

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