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*Concern over rising cases of baby dumping in Kaduna | I have six in my care – District head

A Non-Governmental Organization, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health
Initiative (NURHI), has raised the alarm over increasing cases of
dumping of new live-births by unknown women in Kaduna State. It says
there is need for concerted efforts by stakeholders and the public to
nip the menace in the bud.

Though the practice is not new in the country, it has been on the
increase in recent times, with the victims dumped in deadly spots like
refuse dumps, gutter, and motor parks to attract public attention and
sympathy.
For instance, a newly-born baby was found abandoned close to a new
generation bank, off Racecourse Road, Murtala Square, Kaduna North Local
Government area of Kaduna State just recently, He was at the mercy of
local dogs and pigs who haunted the area, but was only rescued by
passersby and handed over to the Kaduna State Police Command.
Kaduna State Leader of NURHI, Kabir Abdullahi, also cited an instance,
in which a woman immediately after giving birth took the baby and dumped
it at the doorstep of a traditional leader and walked away. Unknown to
the traditional father, she met and exchanged pleasantry with the woman
on his way back home. When he learnt of the baby, he remembered and
quickly mobilised boys who ran after the woman and brought her back. She
gave inability to take care of the child because she was not married as
reason for her action.
He described baby dumping as one of the outcomes of lack of knowledge or
oughtright rejection of right information about Family Planning (FP)
contraceptives services due to several factors including tradition and
religion. “There is virtually no district head that you go to that will
not share his personal experience with you. It is big concern to them
because most of the cases end up at their doorstep.
“Basically, the relationship between baby dumping and contraceptives is
clear. A woman dumps a child because she doesn’t want it. So in other
word, an unwanted pregnancy leads to unwanted baby and the unwanted baby
is the baby that is dumped anyhow.
“NURHI’s concern is, rather than having unwanted pregnancy and unwanted
baby, why not use contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancy. This is a
menace associated with communities of unmarried people but who could not
wait until marriage before having sex. So it is necessary for ladies in
this category to visit any public hospital to access the contraceptive
that suit them. It is free.
Abdullahi told Saturday Sun that his organization was currently working
in some states including Kaduna to reduce their maternal mortality rate.
“We are reviewing our work for the first one year in Kaduna. We are set
for phase two. The paramount objectives is to scale up our intervention
that has proven to be effective. We are moving into new geography. We
are moving into additional eight local governments in addition to seven
we had in one year making it 15. The focus is how to expand access to
contraceptives for more women.
“If you look at statistics from the North, Kaduna State is standing
alone with 20.1 per cent contraceptives prevalent rate (CPR), while
other states like Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto having maximum
of 1 per cent. It means these states need to learn from Kaduna State to
save their women from maternal mortality rate. In Kaduna, we are
targeting 47 per cent CPR by 2018 as contribution to 36 per cent
national blueprint target for Nigeria by 2018. If the state is able to
achieve this, it will change the agony surrounding mortality tendencies
because it will reduce death associated with pregnancy by 40 per cent”,
he said.
District Head of Doka, Kaduna Central, Alhaji Bala Muhammed Tijani, said
he was always delighted each time the issue of child dumping was
raised, because of his experience, noting that he had not ab initio
thought for a moment that there would be a link between the concept of
child-birth spacing until he was part of NURHI’s project in the state,
which had revealed some of the social problems in the society today. “I
began to see the picture clearer”. he continued, “It is true that we at
the traditional institution have been bearing the burden more than any
other person or institution. I do experience this virtually every two
months and in some cases the frequency is even higher. I can tell you
now that I have six children that my village head are taking care of
whom we don’t know who their biological parents are. And these six
children are being taken care of with my assistance in terms of their
upbringing and these are the kinds of problems we undergo day after day,
because we have been trained on how to handle these kinds of things as
part of our duty.
“It is a real big problem and I think we need concerted effort, not only
from local government, but state, federal and even international
organizations. The country is being built without social system put in
place for the needy. I am a District Head without a kobo as a vote to be
able to implement any programme or policy or carry out any public
function, yet, I do find a traditional way of getting things done the
right way. Honestly the pressure is becoming unbearable now due to high
demand.
Reverend Isaac Gbadero from Zaria Interfaith noted that issue of child
dumping “has been with us though not publicised as it ought to be,
because the society did not seem to care about it and maybe, because of
our tradition.”
He also blamed it on the failure of parents at home. “Failure from home
on the basis that if a child gets pregnant and she’s threatened, she
will find a way of disposing that baby after birth. If parents are
educating their children right from home on how to prevent themselves
from even having sex before marriage, this will not be happening,
because most of the women who indulged in this dastardly act are not in
marriage. My Holy Bible tells me in 1st Corinthians Chapter 7:1-4 that
if you cannot hold your body, get married. But unfortunately people
don’t read their Bible to live what it says.”
However, Kaduna State Government through the Director of Social Welfare
and Child Development, Ministry of Women and Social Development, Ibrahim
Dabo, hinted that the cases were hardly reported to the ministry. He
said the only one the ministry was aware of in recent times happened in
2015, although the baby involved later died.

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Lillian Oluk, 36, and her two-year-old daughter Lynne Mutumba were found dead in their one-bedroom flat.

A
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but various examinations suggested Lillian was suffering from
malnutrition and starvation and little Lynne had been dehydrated.

According to UK Mirror,they had no food in the house and no possessions
other than the clothes on their back, the court heard.Lillian was also
not taking her medication for HIV and sickle cell
anaemia...

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