Akpan Etukudoh Asare
Nigerian children who are not given expected care and protection now will negatively impact future development of the country.
The Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu said this at a public event on child protection organised by UNICEF in Calabar.
She frowned at the incessant violation and abuse of the Nigerian children as well as their rampant neglect, stressing that “Everybody should be daily interested in the development, protection and care for the Nigerian child. This is because when we fail to protect a child now the consequences will be on us all later once he has grown up with battered psyche.”
She said that her agency has been well empowered and committed to the task of protecting the child against the wiles in the society as they have put all modalities on ground to help stakeholders prosecute it.
On stigmatisation of the abused girl child, for instance, Edu urged parents and caregivers against unnecessarily exposure of the child victim to the public. “The child victim must be protected against stigmatisation, abuse and neglect, and future attacks must necessarily be warded off. There is need to mount campaign of sensitisation about to enable people know importance of privacy and confidentiality. There should also be proper response to the case.”
She also warned against disrespect and abuse of pregnant and elderly women at public health facilities, stressing that perpetrators would be sanctioned according to state laws.
She disclosed that the state government has equipped and made most primary healthcare centres in the state to function optimally for the benefit of the people.