SUNRISE: Securing The Nigerian Child
One in five children in Nigeria reportedly dies before the age of five due to minor preventable ailments that have long been eradicated in other countries; while yet others have been orphaned due to AIDS-related diseases or inter-tribal wars, or as a result of activities of insurgents.
It is estimated that over two million girls are subjected to genital mutilation every year, a practice still rampant in some parts of Nigeria and all religious groups.
Intervention in the practice is considered as a violation of privacy, yet many girls face several health risks through this, including severe bleeding and contraction of HIV infection through the use of unhygienic methods in carrying out the procedure. Statistical data shows that adolescent girls have HIV rate up to five percent higher than their male counterparts.
According to a recent United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) report, one out of every five Nigerian children is out of school, topping the table of 12 other countries with which it accounts for 47 % of the global out-of-school population.
The other countries are: Pakistan, Ethiopia, India, Philippines, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Others include Niger, Kenya, Yemen, Mali and South Africa.
Speaking on this segment of Sunrise, the Assistant Director, Children Services, Salford City Council, England, Gani Martins and Kendi Aig-Imoru share their thoughts.