Children’s Day 2020: MAMA Centre wants sustained policy support for development of Nigerian children
"As malnutrition remains a serious setback to socio-economic development of the country, high incidence of Severe Acute Malnutrition has continued to exacerbate children’s susceptibility to deadly infections, slow recovery from illness, retards physical and cognitive development," it added.
Onyegbula said, "we recall that an estimated 2.5 million Nigerian children under five suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition, SAM annually, exposing nearly 420,000 children under five to early death from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria.
"Meanwhile, adequate nutrition status constitutes component of the rights of a child as enshrines under section 13 (1) of Child Right Act 2003 which provides for every child to enjoy the best attainable state of physical, mental and spiritual health.
The statement further said that, "Providing for the child the best attainable state of health; ensure the provision of adequate nutrition and safe drinking water; ensuring the provision of good hygiene and environmental sanitation; combating disease and malnutrition within the framework of primary health care through the application of appropriate technology."
The Group frowned at high incidence of early marriages as a fundamental violation of human rights, despite various provisions in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigerian constitution and Child Right Act 2003
MAMA Centre said, "we are perturbed at the growing prevalence of child marriage in some parts of the country with resultant early child birth, decreased development and social isolation.
"We condemn in totality deliberate delayed in adoption and transmission (into law) of the Child Right Act in many states since its passage in 2003; thus, exposing a child bride to life threatening illnesses like Vesico-vaginal Fistula, VVF, Anaemia, High Blood Pressure, Premature Birth, Malnutrition, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, STDs and Post-partum depression, PPD and even suicide.
"We must reiterate that Nigeria has the highest prevalence of obstetric fistula in the world, with between 400,000 and 800,000 women living with the problem and about 20,000 new cases each year; and 90 percent cases are untreated. This implies that about 55 women are afflicted by obstetric fistula every day. This is worsened by poor access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning and maternal health services by child bride."
MAMA Centre also said that CRC would provide every child with free, compulsory and universal basic education; and every parent or guardian shall ensure that his child or ward attends and completes her primary school education and junior secondary education.
It also called for improved access to education and eliminating gender gaps in education, proper individual orientation, mass public awareness and sensitisation on the provisions of the Child Right Act.
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