Child Abuse In Nigeria

Officials Suggest 3 Ways To End Alarming Surge In Child Abuse Cases

Officials Suggest 3 Ways To End Alarming Surge In Child Abuse Cases

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Health officials have lamented the rising cases of child abuse in Nigeria. They have also suggested three ways to end the menace.

This was discussed at the 52nd/53rd Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Paediatric Association of Nigeria in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The Paediatrics Association of Nigeria suggested the domestication of the Child Rights Acts.

Child Abuse In Nigeria Suggestions

See PAN’s complete suggestions below:

  • Domestication of the Child’s Right Acts in all states.
  • Reports of Child Abuse Should be mandatory by law.
  • Adolescent-focused and friendly services should be implemented in the country.

The body acknowledged that the acts were already domesticated in some states. It, however, suggested that appropriate machinery be fully implemented in those states.

PAN President, Dr Olufemi Ogunride and Secretary, Dr Maria Garba signed the communique. The document entitled “Child Abuse: An Escalating Menace in Nigeria”.

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It was presented to PUNCH HealthWise correspondent on Sunday.

According to the association, child abuse was a global phenomenon.

It said:

“In Nigeria, six out of 10 children experience physical, emotional, or sexual abuse before the age of 18 years.

“Child Abuse has serious consequences in the immediate and long term for the child, family, and the nation and interacts to undermine national security by fuelling banditry, kidnapping and religious intolerance.”

At the conference where the issue was raised, there were four other subthemes. They are:

  • Technological and Molecular Advances in Child Healthcare.
  • Adolescent Depression and Suicide.
  • Genetics in Child Health.
  • Pneumonia in the wake of COVID-19.

They urged various stakeholders to take a firm stand against child abuse in Nigeria. These stakeholders begin with:

  1. The family.
  2. The community.
  3. NGOs
  4. Professional bodies.

Their roles are to protect child abuse and punish the culprits.

They also urged the Government to improve the reporting system of child molestation cases.

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It continued, “Government should strengthen the reporting system for cases of child abuse.

“The Child Rights Act should be domesticated in states of the Federation where it is yet to be domesticated; in states where the Act has been domesticated, it should be fully implemented.

“The conference recommends that the reporting of child abuse should be mandatory by law, and the process protected to secure the identities of the victim and the reporter and ensure the successful prosecution of the assailant.

“Adolescent-focused and adolescent-friendly services should be implemented nationwide; in addition, all children should be provided with a safe environment when using the internet and social media.

“A nationwide study should be designed and conducted to better understand the burden of child abuse in Nigeria.

“The Government at all levels should prioritise the provision of low-cost, effective, and durable technologies for the care of a small and sick newborn; no effort should be spared in recruiting, training, and retaining a skilled workforce for newborn care.”

Concluding, almost 200 papers were presented on various aspects of Child Health.

Source: PUNCH HealthWise

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