This is a case for family planning as a family initiative and government policy and not an endorsement of abortion, except where the life of the mother is endangered
A child has 5 basic needs, namely, someone to believe, something to believe, somewhere to belong, something to become and something to be responsible for. It is my professional submission that before a child is born, the custodians must figure out how all these basic needs are going to be met. The preparations to meet these needs are made by the immediate family of the child and the state. The state provides social support services, which the family of the child can lean on to give the child a hope and a future.
There are 133 million births each year. 29.2 million of the 133 million are born in Africa. The question is what is the plan for these children by the parents and society? In recent study by The Economist, Nigeria has been identified as the worst place to be born in 2013. The Economist explains: ‘America, where babies will inherit the large debts of the boomer generation, languishes back in 16th place. Despite their economic dynamism, none of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) scores impressively. Among the 80 countries covered, Nigeria comes last: it is the worst place for a baby to enter the world in 2013.’
My friend is a medical doctor. His wife also is medical doctor with LUTH. He has 2 children. He understands what it takes to bring up children. Now, his gateman in his office has 9 children. One day, my friend asked him why he has so many children. He responded by saying that he had so many because he believed that at least of his 9 children will make it in life and become the family’s lifeline out of poverty. Do you see his thinking?
I must also tell you that this is the general thinking of people in this category. Unknown to him, he does not know that the more the children, the more the possibility of them not getting the required care and the leaner the chances of any one of them making it in life except by divine intervention. Another reason why the poor have many children is because of the general belief among them that some of the children will not live. They need to have so many so that when one or some die they may have children left. Another reason why the poor, many middle class and even the rich have many children is when they are not pleased with the sex of their children. In most cases they want a male child. Erroneously, they believe that the girl child is inferior to the boy child. It is an unfounded traditional belief, yet so strong in Africa.
I think we should be careful how we bring children to a country without a viable social support system for child development. It must therefore become the responsibility of the informed among us to educate the uninformed and debrief the misinformed.
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