TOP
  • Home
  • National
  • Fight poverty to protect children’s rights, health- Nnabagereka

Fight poverty to protect children’s rights, health- Nnabagereka

By Edward Kayiwa

Added 1st August 2019 06:53 PM

The Nnabagereka said approximately 28% of children in Uganda live in poverty, and as such, are deprived of essential amenities like access to clean water, decent accommodation, and education.

Nab 703x422

The Nnabagereka (Queen) of Buganda, Sylvia Nagginda (File photo)

The Nnabagereka said approximately 28% of children in Uganda live in poverty, and as such, are deprived of essential amenities like access to clean water, decent accommodation, and education.

CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

MASAKA-The Nnabagereka (Queen) of Buganda, Sylvia Nagginda has called for a protracted fight against poverty in order to protect children from violence, labor and other forms of abuse.

She said in Uganda, most children, especially adolescents are faced with multiple challenges which limit proper health development, leading to an increase in both behavioral and mental disorders.

“We must acknowledge that these young people are living in environments where they are exposed to various forms of violence. We must, therefore, fight poverty, which is the root cause of most of these problems to protect the children,” she said.

This was during the fourth Strengthening Mental Health and Research Training (SMART) Africa annual conference on Child behavioral health in Sub Saharan Africa, held in Masaka on Monday.

SMART Africa focuses on adapting and testing an evidence-based intervention and multiple family groups to address child and adolescent health difficulties in Uganda, Kenya, and Ghana.

The Nnabagereka said approximately 28% of children in Uganda live in poverty, and as such, are deprived of essential amenities like access to clean water, decent accommodation, and education.

She said although the government, the Nabagereka development foundation and other organisations have various programmes to help adolescents, key emphasis should be put on fighting poverty which is the root cause of the problems they face.

She said additionally, good cultural values and practices should be encouraged among children, women, and adolescents, in order to promote moral justice and dignified society.

“At the Nabagereka development foundation, we combine the traditional value systems of Obuntu bulamu with contemporary systems to promote moral justice and address women and adolescent needs,” she said.

She said children’s abuse, such as child labor is exploitative and threatens the health, safety, physical growth and mental development of children, curtailing their ability to unleash their full potential.

It is estimated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that approximately 77% of Uganda’s population is aged below 30, while 57% of the population are adolescents aged below 19.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) also estimates that approximately 38% of the country’s children aged between 7 to 14 are engaged in child labor, an abuse of their rights.

In a speech read for her by the Assistant Commissioner Reproductive and Infant Health at the Ministry of Health Dr. Livingstone Makanga, the minister of state for primary health care, Joyce Kaducu said failure to address emotional and physical development of children may result in failure to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She said, however, that the government has put in place various programs aimed at enhancing the quality of life of children, women, and adolescents in Uganda.

She said the government will also continue supporting initiatives aimed at advancing collaborative research on child and adolescent mental health in Uganda to answer priority questions.

The SMART Africa country director, Fred Sewamala said poverty has a direct effect on children’s mental health, and can as well result in violent behavior, especially among adolescents.

“When there is poverty, parents became careless because they are also troubled. The children are forced to work to contribute to the family welfare and this sometimes is torture to them, as it deprives them of playtime. The key therefore in protecting children is in fighting poverty,” he said. 

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles