In my work, ‘CHILD PROTECTION IN AFRICA…62 Human and Social Threats YOU must KNOW, PREVENT & AVOID IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD,’ I identified as the 28th Human and Social threat to child protection in Africa, THE KEY HOUSEHOLD PRACTICES IGNORANT. Submitted as follows: ‘the existence of this human threat was first revealed to me when I was attending a Training the Trainer Program at the United Nations House Abuja. One declaration at the training was that many more children die from childhood diseases more from lack of knowledge of Key Household Practices (KHHP) than from non availability of treatment or medical attention. Key Household Practices focuses on preventive measures and early intervention strategies, which every custodians of the life of the child must be aware of and be ready to practice as the situation demands. Many are around children today, who are not aware of these Key Household Practices, not to take of being prepared to use them or actually engage them when it is very crucial to the survival of the child. As I round up this part of the human threat, I will like to share with you the four categories of Key Household Practices follows: The first GROWTH PROMOTION & DEVELOPMENT; the second is DISEASE PREVENTION; the Third is HOME MANAGEMENT; and the last is CARE SEEKING & COMPLIANCE.’
Still in the spirit of attacking this formidable human threat, I will be sharing with you 13 stories written to either inform or remind you of these Key Household Practices. This is not a series you can miss. This knowledge may be the saying tool for the life of your child in the days, months and years to come.
Join me today as I begin to share with you these stories. I begin with birth registration
It is a rainy day and I felt the weather was not too friendly to me. As at the time I was leaving the office, there was no sign that It was going to rain and I did not take my umbrella with me. I had just alighted from the last bus stop to my house, when the rain began earnestly, I ran into the nearby shed. The shed belongs to a woman, who fries Akara, yam and sweet potatoes. As I stood there the discussion between the woman and another woman, I suspected to be her friend or neighbour caught my attention. The other woman was telling her that she has advised the younger woman in the community to avoid registering the birth of their children. She has also advised them that they may need to submit themselves to Traditional Birth Attendant to avoid their children being registered. As I listened to the woman, curiosity gripped me and I wanted to know why she was that committed to non-registration of birth.
Before I could ask any question, which she may not answer anyway, since I was not supposed to be part of the discussion, she went further to say ‘don’t mind auntie nurse, she doesn’t know what we have gone through in this land. By our tradition, it is an abomination for you to count your children. This is what birth registration means.’ She paused and said with an emotion laden voice, ‘have forgotten how I lost my twins before they were five within one week, after I registered their births contrary to the admonition of the gods?’
At this time the rain had stopped and the woman was about stepping out, when the other woman, who has been busy frying responded and said, ‘Mara, please give me two minutes. Let me attend to these customers, I have something to say.’ Done with the customers, she turned to her friend, ‘did you take the twins for immunization?’ ‘No,’ she responded sharply. ‘I don’t believe in the thinking that we should not register our children any more. People from the National Population Commission came to our community meeting last week to educate us on the need to register our children. They were invited by the Local Government Chairman. They taught us that child birth registration is done after birth free of charge by them and it is a right of the child to identity. We were also told that registering our children will enable government to plan for their health, education and all. They opened our eyes to other practices that could be killing our children. That was why I asked you if the twins were immunized.
At this time my diary was fully updated, I went home satisfied.