Kelvin Ezor (Calabar)
The Governor of Cross River state Sen. Ben Ayade speaking through the DG CRSPHCDA, Dr. Betta Edu has advocated for a multi-sectoral approach in ending child abuse and domestic violence against children
The government of Cross River state through its Primary Healthcare Development Agency in collaboration with UNICEF organized a one day stakeholders meeting on integrating child protection in health service delivery and programmes in the state. This move by stakeholders in the health sector is aimed at strengthening systems and services to prevent violence, respond urgently and appropriately to children who suffer abuse as well as protect children in all situations.
In a goodwill message, the Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu expresses her gratitude to UNICEF for supporting Cross River state as it concerns child protection. Dr. Edu also appreciated other stakeholders present at the meeting.
It is our primary role as stakeholders to ensure that we do everything possible to protect our children. “I feel sad seeing children being abused in our society”
The state primary healthcare development agency Boss harped on birth registration and protection of the child in the society. She frowned at the attitudes of some national population council officers supported by health workers who resort to collecting monies from members of the public before issuing birth certificates. Dr. Edu who gave her ordeal when she processed a birth certificate for her first daughter. “I had to pay about three thousand nairas just to get a birth certificate for my daughter” Dr. Edu reiterated that birth certificates should be given free.
A peak of the meeting was the presentation of Communiqué and agreement on next steps which should be a training of all health workers in the three samples LGAs on child protection working with the State Ministry Of Health, justice social welfare and Nigerian police.
She tasked all health workers to create awareness during Antenatal as well as other avenues to communities members on child protection. It should be part of services rendered every day!
The commissioner for health Dr. Inyang Asibong was represented by Elder comfort Ekanem, while top state officials like Dir public health Director Primary health and directors from other MDAs were present. UNICEF country program specialist for child protection was also present as well as Mrs. Nkiru Maduechesi who is the child protection specialist at Enugu field office that handles most of the technical sessions