GIWP moves to put smiles on women with polio disabilities


Moved with compassion over the plight of women living with polio – associated disabilities and the challenges facing them in life, an enterprising polio survivor and founder of Global Initiative for Women with Polio(GIWP), Mrs. Chidiebere Mgbemena has embarked upon a mission to help her fellow women polio survivors ‘ achieve a full productive and happy life through advocacy that removes livelihood impediments and introduce them to initiatives that sustainably empower them to be independent and happy members of their family and society.
Speaking to our reporter last week in Owerri, the Chairman/CEO of the NGO, Mrs Mgbemena disclosed that the major activities of GIWP would be in the areas of advocacy, engaging the women through skills acquisition, providing basic education and handling essential medical issues and awareness.
Mrs Mgbemena who also survived polio narrated how at age 2, according to her parents, she was diagnosed with poliomyelitis virus after an injection administered on her due to high fever at a hospital in Lokoja made her unable to walk again , stating that after physiotherapy and others, her physical structure changed and the affected limb became thinner.
However, thanks to her caring parents who motivated her to explore and be who she wanted to be against all odds, she acquired good education and today, she holds a masters degree in Information Technology from the University of Greenwich, London, a software Engineer and Programmer, a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children.
The GIWP boss informed that after recovery from an illness called Post- Polio Syndrome (PPS) in 2018, God urged her one morning to do something to help other women polio survivors who are not as privileged as she has been and after brainstorming with her husband, GIWP was born in 2019.
According to Mrs Mgbemena, GIWP would work to boost the self-esteem and morale of women polio survivors. Some of who have become beggars and have been made to believe no man would marry them by providing them with scholarships, mentoring, counselling, medical care/ supplements, physiotherapy training, vocational training and start-up business, assistive devices and walking aids like orthosis, wheelchairs and customized shoes.
The GIWP CEO also informed that her organization would organize a PPS awareness campaign involving educating polio survivors, parents and caregivers and all necessary information about PPS that could occur after 10-40 years after initial infection.
She called on public spirited individuals, government, private organizations, religious bodies, etc, to support the vision of GIWP in the effort to put smiles on the faces of these needy women as the project and materials are very expensive.


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