Abdi is 12 years old and lives with his uncle in northern Nigeria. He has epilepsy and often has to miss school because he suffers from seizures. Abdi has difficulty talking but his uncle Abdullah understands him very well.
Abdi’s uncle says ‘Abdi’s father had to go to work in the city and left him in my care. He felt it was better to leave Abdi in the village where everyone is very fond of him. In the city Abdi would have had to stay home all day but here he can wander around, walk to school and play football with the other children.
Abdi started to get convulsions when he was about two years old. We took him to a doctor who prescribed medication to make the seizures less frequent.
Abdi tries to go to the local primary school every day but there are many days when he can’t go. Because of his problem, he hasn’t progressed very well and is still in primary two with pupils who are as young as six.
I think he would be better off in school for special needs, but there isn’t one nearby. The teacher here has nearly 40 pupils in her class so she can’t give him the attention he requires and she hasn’t been trained to understand his condition.
Abdi loves to go to school and often tries to tell his brother what he has learned. He is a special boy but needs special care. I hope we can persuade the government to look after Abdi in the way he deserves.