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Nigeria needs to pay special attention to widows, orphans – Foundation

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The Chinwe Bode-Akinwande (CBA) Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, on Saturday 3 August 2019 empowered widows within Okun-Ilado community of Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State.

The organisation rekindled hopes of hundreds of under-privileged widows, with business grants, food-items, clothing, scholarships for their children and free medical treatments.

According to the organisation, a day outreach supported by First Bank of Nigeria, was in commemoration of the 2019 United Nations’ International Widows’ Day.

Speaking at the event, the founder of the foundation, Mrs. Chinwe Bode-Akingbade, said that the gesture was imperative to assist the pitiable conditions of widows and less-privileged in the society as well as boosting their confidence.

“The foundation was established to alleviate sufferings and pains of the less-privileged, especially widows and their children in the society.

“I have friends who are victims and I can tell you, the dehumanisation and injustice meted to widows in the country is unimaginable, hence, I decided to contribute  my little quota as a selfless act to alleviate their pains.

“As I speak, we currently have over 600 authentic widows on our profile, and the children of about 90 per cent of them have dropped out of school because of lack of funds.  So, even if it’s the basic education we are able to give to them, they can build on it. We don’t want children who should be in schools to be on the streets because their mothers cannot afford school fees. Who knows if the future president is among them? Every child should have access to education and a good life and that is what CBA Foundation intends to achieve.

“To change our society and make the world a better place, we must love, give and share no matter how small.”

She further called on the government to implement and enforce the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act (VAPP) which has the protection of widows in the country, stressing that the government needs to create more awareness about the act for widows to know their rights and also for people to thread with caution.

The traditional ruler (Baale) of the Okun-Ilado community, Chief Ologbon Oladehinde Oloye, speaking with joy, noted that the gesture would go a long way in salvaging the wretched situation of widows in the community as poverty, hunger and malnutrition are a great threat to their livelihood.

“It’s rare to see kind hearted Nigerian these day want to help others and we are happy with what CBA has come to do for our women and children. Feeding, Education is key to every human live and we welcome anyone that desire to help our children get better education.”

Chief Oloye lamented the lack of work and negligence of government in the community. “Our major occupation here is fishing, to fishing this days is getting harder and harder, hence our people are suffering.

Thank God for NGOs like this that come once in a while to lend helping hands through basic materials and scholarships,” he said. Also speaking at the program, one of beneficiaries, Mrs Yaya Taiwo while expressing her gratitude to the foundation said she was overwhelmed by the gesture of the foundation as it has given her life a meaning.

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Mum & Parenting

Ways to spice up sex in your marriage

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Ways to spice up sex in your marriage

When it comes to sex, even the most deeply committed and head-over-heels-in-love couples will likely go through periods when intimacy happens rarely or not at all. Usually, there’s an obvious and logical reason for this, the birth of a baby, say, or a financial setback that has both partners feeling stressed.

But a lack of physical closeness can put a significant strain on a relationship, so it’s important to prevent a temporary dry spell from reaching the level of a no-end-in-sight drought. Start by making sure the problem isn’t due to a physical issue (erectile dysfunction, say, or vaginal pain during intercourse); if that seems to be the case, the affected partner should see a doctor.

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Equally important, be sure you’re on the same page about climbing out of your intimacy rut; if you aren’t, you may want to see a sex therapist or couples counselor to figure out if there’s a relationship issue that needs to be resolved. This often can be done through therapy, stress-reduction techniques, or medication to treat an issue like depression or anxiety.

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But if both of you are functioning normally and both of you are unhappy about the downturn your sex life has taken, there are all sorts of things you can do together to spice things up. Here are some ideas that have worked for other couples who’ve found themselves in the same situation. Feel free to alter any that appeal to you to fit your own the sensibilities and lifestyle.

Do Something New

This could be just about anything you and/or your partner are curious about or have always wanted to experiment with. Try different positions or have sex somewhere other than your bedroom. It could your kitchen, the shower, the hammock in your backyard, the back seat of your car, or a hotel.

If your idea of experimentation means getting a little kinky, shop for some sex toys together in person or online, or play around with safe forms of bondage (blindfolds or handcuffs, for instance).

Also, consider non-sexual pursuits. Sometimes taking up a new hobby together can fuel a renewed interest in intimacy simply by breaking your daily routine and allowing you to have different kinds of experiences together.

Turn on With Porn

There’s plenty to choose from and much of it is geared toward monogamous couples both straight and gay. Watching an erotic film with your lover can help get you both into the mood in the moment. It also can be a terrific source of sexy ideas to try, so it may be worth a few solo sneak peeks if you’re looking for something new to surprise your partner with. You might also consider reading erotica to each other.

Use Your Words

Of course, this can mean talking dirty if either of you is so inclined and know that you’ll find it arousing to hear your loved one utter certain words or phrases during sex. But it also means speaking up about what feels good and what doesn’t. Women, in particular, can be shy about giving directions to a lover during sex.

At the same time, though, by not expressing how or where you want to be touched, for example, you not only cheat yourself of pleasure you also deprive your partner of the thrill of knowing that he or she has made you feel wonderful. If saying words is truly too difficult, then try physically directing your partner with your hands.

Put Sex on the Calendar

Spontaneity can be overrated. If you and your partner are always waiting around for the perfect moment or for the mood to strike, you may be waiting around a lot, so sit down together and figure out when you both have time for sex and write it into your calendar.

And don’t just choose a date and time—make more specific plans: Choose a place, a room, even a fantasy you might want to act out. By setting the stage as much as possible beforehand, you also seed anticipation that can blossom into full-on arousal by the time you come together.

Make the Most of Your Smart Phone

Your phone has the potential to be a thousand times more arousing than the techiest vibrator if you use it right. As long as you know your lover will be able to receive messages in private, start sending sexts and erotic photos of you or what you’d like to do with him or her when the two of you can be alone. And when that happens, turn off your devices so that you focus on turning each other on.

• culled from verywellhealth.com

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Our society is full of untrained children – LG Chair

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Our society is full of untrained children – LG Chair

Parents have been urged on the need to build the right influence and good character in their children.

According to most of the speakers and panelists at the National Character Parenting Summit, parents have duty to nurture their children and help them to develop positive influence and good character.

The forum themed: ‘Parental Influence and Character Development: where to draw the line,’ was held in Lagos.

While challenging participants, comprising parents, teachers and school children, among others, Executive Chairman, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, Mr.  Jelili Sulaimon, who stated  that  one of the major issues affecting the  country was lack of good parenting.

He pointed out that most parents have neglected their responsibilities on their children as they took their businesses and careers more important.

As a result of this misplaced priority, he said the society was full of untrained children.

“No wonder we have children who have turned vagabonds and hoodlums in the society today,” he said. To correct this, the chairman reminded parents that they were care givers and not caretakers, saying that they have major obligations to nurture their children physically, spiritually, academically and mentally, being heritage of God.

Sulaimo challenged participants to rise to the occasion, while advising children to also listen to their parents’ instructions.

He lauded the Convener of the forum  and Chief Executive Officer of 1st Royal Character and Values Limited, Mrs Bose Olusola -Obasa, for her doggedness.

Guest Speaker at the forum and former Commissioner of Work in Ogun State, Dr.  (Mrs)  Doyin Ogunbiyi, said that good parental influence and character development were imperative in bringing up a child, especially at the present dispensation of moral decadence in the society

According to her, integrity was essential in everything people do, adding that integrity would give someone good character.

She lamented that the trend in the society called for sobering reflection, recalling her youthful years, when mothers disciplined their wards. “Today’s mothers are sleeping on duty. They don’t discipline children again. This is wrong.  “Then, mothers used to mold their children, unlike now when children are not being disciplined when they erred.”

Supporting her claims with the scripture, “spare the rod and spoil the child,” she said it was divined for parents to correct their wards.

Comparing modern day upbringing of children to her period, Ogunbiyi said it was unheard then  that  children talked back at their mothers.

According to her, some children were rebellious from birth, hence the importance of discipline.

She said: “Parents are careless nowadays as they encourage their children to misbehave.

The society is the way it is now as a result of inadequacy on the part of parents.

“Nowadays, children don’t challenge intellectually. What they know is about games, sex and fashion, etc.”  The former commissioner of work in Ogun State, called on parents to build moral qualities in their children.

According to her, parents should follow God’s order, adding that they have a major role to play and that children have sub-major role to play also.

She stated that bringing up a child was a process and a duty, which every parent must not be sentimental about.

“We should be careful to monitor them; you must teach them how to be organised,” she said, adding that families determined the nation.

“Our mothers know what to do to mold a child.  Mothers need to relate with their children well,” Ogunbiyi said.

On whether there is a line between parental influence and character development,  a Character Coach and Pastor in Four Square Church, David Adegboyega, said that both were like pictures that control life.

Adegboyega, a panelist stated that influence was about one’s life character.

According to him, what children saw their parents doing and what was  going on around them have a way on influencing  and  shaping their characters.

Director of Finance, Signal and System Limited, Mrs.  Susan Tayo, said that a lot of ills in the society could be traced to parenting, noting that influence was like a lifestyle.

She said that three types of parenting existed namely : commandeering approach  coaching and counselling, pointing out that a parents should know when to apply  these approaches.

According to Tayo, control of a child should be reduced as he/she grows, enjoining parents to sit-up and be prepared to answer any question posed to them by their children.

Popular Anchor of Your Show on  TVC,  Mrs.  Morayo Afolabi -Brown, pointed out that every single child was different, explaining that there were kinetic, audio and visual children   To her, parents must understand their children and find the right parenting influence for them.

She said what she had noticed was that most parents were lazy when it came to seeking knowledge.

“Parents must learn how to respond to their teenagers,” she said.

Head, Department of Education, Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos, Mrs. Olajumoke Akinyemi, bemoaned moral decadence in the society, noting that it started from homes.  When talking about parental influence, she noted that children have a way of imitating their parents, calling on the latter to be of positive influence and character to their wards. She noted that most of the contemporary parents were not well parented.

Popular Actress and Managing Director, moEmerald Production Concept Limited, Mrs.  Moyinoluwa Olutayo, differentiated between influence and control, adding that there should be a level of influence to be transferred to a child. She urged  parents that it has become a must for them to have oversight functions over their children  “Freedom has control. No matter the level of freedom a child wants, he or she needs control,” she said.

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Akeredolu raises the alarm over rape of minor …leads sensitisation walk

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Akeredolu raises the alarm over rape of minor …leads sensitisation walk

Wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs  Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has raised alarm over the high rate of defilement of minor and rape of women in the state.

Mrs. Akeredolu who led a walk against rape in Akure, the State capital also sent a distress call to all stake holders towards finding lasting solution to the worrisome cases of defilement and raping of minors which has become a reoccurring decimal in some part of the state.

She called for legislations that would ensure stiffer penalties for rapists, child abusers and predators. The walk which started at the palace of Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, terminated at Oke Eda area of the town. Similar walk against rape took place simultaneously in all other 17 local government areas of the state.

Mrs Akeredolu had chaired a stakeholders’ meeting where she frowned on subjecting minors to trauma in the hands of rapists and solutions were proffered on how rape could be nipped in the bud. At the stakeholders meeting were Non Governmental Organisations NGOs, Commissioners, officials of Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of justice, representative of Police force, representative of NSCDC, NDLEA, and chairpersons of 18 Local Government Areas of the State.

Her words: “The defilement of a-six year old girl at Ode-Irele and another seven years old at Owo area worrisome. I don’t have to keep quiet when I heard these cases; my heart was broken. We will break the bureaucratic bottle neck that has been responsible for the previous delay in such cases.”

“After today, men will not do such thing because we are set to ensure that we get to the root of the matter. People often say that ladies wear trousers and spaghetti dresses and that was the reasons they are being rapped. Would you say that these children of six and seven year put on trousers and spaghetti dresses? This is evil that we must fight to a standstill.”

During the walk against rape, the state Commissioner  for Woman Affairs,  Mrs. Titilayo Adeyemi, who represented the First Lady said that the women were in the palace to seek for monarch’s support and inform him that the menace has become worrisome to womenfolk.

“Kabiyesi, we are here to inform the palace that the issue of rape is a great concern to everybody. We are tired of it and we are here to solicit the help of the palace. When a minor is raped, it may cause premature death, sickness and trauma.

“There is high tendency for rape victims to develop unnecessary hatred to men, making such victims difficult to have good homes.”

She added that rape menace should be condemned by all and sundry, asking traditional institution to expose suspected rapists for proper punishment.

In his response, Oba Aladetoyinbo applauded Mrs Ayanwu-Akeredolu for taking the initiative to stop the menace of rape in the state. The monarch, who condemned the menace, advocated life punishment for rapists.  He added that all morally, human beings should support the initiative and contribute to it.

Oba Aladetoyinbo asked the women to handover any suspect of rape to the palace for traditional oath-taking before being handed to police for legal action. According to him,  the palace is in support of the initiative, saying the  women should continue to protest until no rape case happens in the state.

The wife of the state Commissioner for Natural Resources, Mrs Aderoju Oluwatuyi said that the essence of the walk was to propagate against rape in the state.  Mrs Oluwatuyi thanked the governor’s wife for her initiative to curb unnecessary sexual harassment to womenfolk in the state. She added that the trauma felt by rape victims, was killing, asking for stiffer punishment for rapists.

The Erelu Iyaloja of Akure Kingdom, Chief Mercy Adekanye tasked parents to train their and rise up to their responsibility. Buttressing the point of the First Lady, Ms.Tobiloba  Fademi,  Chief Press Secretary to the governor’s wife,  said that rate of  rape was becoming alarming in the state.  According to her,  parents should monitor and protect their children,  tasking the society not to shield rape suspects but hand them to appropriate authorities. She added that more stringent measure against rapists, saying that only holistic approach would curb the menace.

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Mum & Parenting

‘Consider competent young women for appointive positions’

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A Bauchi based Non-Governmental Organisation Leadtots Human Development Services, has lamented the non inclusion of young people and thirty five percent women in ministerial appointees by President Muhammadu  Buhari.

This was contained in a Media statement signed and made available to newsmen by the Senior Program Officer, Leadtots Human Development Services, Seun Onarinde.

He said that there is no doubt that young people below the ages of 35 and women played a crucial role in the emergence of the elected officials in the last general elections in Nigeria, especially for the offices of the President, Governors and legislators and yet they have limited influence in national political institutions.

Onarinde said that: “The Nigerian youths seek more active involvement in the elected offices and increased number of youths occupying political offices, cabinet positions, political appointments and improved engagement in governance issues that affects the country.

“But it is quite unfortunate that young people and women were systemically eliminated out of the 43 Ministerial nominees of the President Muhammadu Buhari despite the relentless effort of the same group of people.”

He stated that the rising demand for increased youth participation in Nigeria’s political atmosphere has gone beyond mere engagement in political rallies and numbers during elections.

He recalled that in the 1970s and 80s National Leaders and Reformists like Shehu Shagari – Federal Legislator at 30, M.T.  Mbu – Minister at 25, Richard Akinjide –

Minister of Education at 32, Maitama Sule – Oil Minister at 29, Yakubu Gowon – Head of State at 32 and many others, were produced.

He lamented that in Nigeria today, youth political participation is low compared to the past. “There is strong evidence that the participation of young people and women in formal, institutional political processes is relatively low when compared to older citizens and male counterparts in previous Political administrations in the State.

“This challenges the representativeness of the political system and leads to the disenfranchisement of young people and women,” he said.

He therefore, stressed that there is a need for political inclusion, to translate resources from young people and women’s strength, ideas, and aspiration into tangible wealth.

He pointed out that: “Indeed, this group of active Nigerian citizens makes the strongest physical investment during political activities but receive the least return on their faithful investments, their expectations of stable political and governance structures, improved economy and steady power supply has proved to be on a constant definite illusion.”

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Mum & Parenting

In search of independent women for dating

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In search of independent women for dating

Dating is one of life’s rituals where high and low are rather the rule and not the exception and with the recent economic meltdown, young bachelors are no longer in search of liability in disguise as relationships. Women with financial independence have become hot cake and are in desperate search in the dating arena, Annette Amadi writes

 

Young men are now on the prowl for financially stable women to bear children for them. Unlike in the past when men didn’t mind about the status of the ladies, they are more concerned as the tide is swinging. Labour market used to be dominated by men but today, women are displacing men in what used to be a male dominated area.

In a chat with about 12 people, they believe that more ladies are getting employed in corporate organizations than men. This, on one hand, is a positive development for women rights and empowerment. On the other hand, there is a social disadvantage for both young men and women who want to start a family.

According to Tola Samuel, data analyst, traditionally and naturally, one of the major ways a man stamps his authority in the home is via his financial power. It means that for a young man to get married he needs to be gainfully employed.

Unfortunately, nowadays, he said youth’s unemployment rate is on the rise which would even make it more difficult for them to be assertive as responsible men and husbands.

According to New Telegraph’s findings, some group of unemployed men now go about looking for ladies who are gainfully employed and over ripe for marriage to impregnate. In most cases they do it with the consent of the ladies. This is common among men who are in their thirties that no longer have the patience to get a job before settling down. They are desperately in need of a child. Hence, they turn to a lady who is also in her thirties mostly late thirties and mid forties, and upwardly-mobile but not yet married and desperately in need of a child.

For Lekan Adetiba  (not real name) a graduate security man, the lady must be financially buoyant, not necessarily a millionaire but enough income to take care of their child or children in some cases. “I am a 37 years old business administration graduate. I graduated seven years ago and still searching for a good job. I tried all I could to get a decent job, I even got trained by the side so as to be self employed but no financial assistance, no matter how small to start my business. So I took up this security job three years ago,” he said. Adetiba who earns N35,000 as his salary said he dare not dream of marriage yet, so he approached a lady whom he had studied for sometime in the place where he is the security man, certain that the lady had no man in her life. Luck smiled on him as the lady agreed to the arrangement. “She agreed to take care of the pregnancy till he would be ready for me. Once in a while, I support the up keep of the child- a baby girl,” he said.

Bello Lawal, told New Telegraph that he was pushed to the wall when he searched for a job for four years after his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). “I searched for white collar jobs but to no avail. I studied Agriculture and tried getting loans from micro-finance banks to start my poultry or fish farm business but I didn’t get because I had nothing to use as collateral. I was 32 at the time and desperate and there was no sign that I would make it in life. I am someone who loves children and I thought about having my own someday.”

“Luckily for me I was introduced to Angela (not real name) who was also in need of a child as age was not on her side. Angela was 34 years old. I agreed because I was also in need of a child and knew that she was capable of taking care of our child because she had a lucrative business. We gave birth to a lovely girl.”

“We were not romantically attached at first but two years after our first child I was able to get some money to start my business. I started becoming more responsible for the child’s upkeep. One thing led to another and today, we are happily married with three kids. Honestly it isn’t something I was proud of as a man. I did it out of desperation.” He said

In a similar vein, Michael Esosa said, “If I see a rich lady who is in need of a child, I will readily impregnate her. I’m optimistic that one day, God will bless me but what if I’m close to 50 years of age by then? I need to get my life moving and one of the best ways is to have a child. This year I will be 33. My father had me when he was 27, so what am I waiting for? Job or no job, whether I am ready or not, I must have a child before I clock 35,” he said.

A Lagos based woman in her early 40’s who spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying that she has been involved in matchmaking for the past five years.  In a telephone chat with New Telegraph, she said, “I hook up men and women who want children of their own but for one reason or the other they haven’t been able to get married. For the guys, they complain they want children but they have no money to settle down. For the ladies who are doing well financially, they complain that they have no man to call their own. In our world, men do the proposing but these women unfortunately meet the wrong type of men who only sleep with them, use them and leave under the guise of marriage.”

Asked if she is proud of what she does, she said, “I am providing service to people who need it. This isn’t prostitution in any form so I don’t feel guilty. In fact money isn’t exchanging hands here. I do it for free.”

New Telegraph gathered that this is becoming a common practice among the youth due to societal and family pressure. These people see their mates happily married and they also want to do same. Since one of the main reasons for marriage is procreation, they (men) don’t want to miss out in both ways. They are ready to impregnate any lady, who they know has the financial wherewithal to take care of their child without bothering them for financial assistance, hoping to make it later in life. That way, they ease the pressure and get fulfilled.

QUALITIES THAT MAKES SINGLE MOMS PREFERABLE

• A single mother does not have time to fight with you over any little issues. Single working class moms are quite the tiger, they juggle business, parenting and pleasure.

• Single working class moms do not pressure a man into marriage as her biological clock is not ticking and she is thinking as hard as she can to avoid the topic of having another baby soon.

• Single moms are always down to having good times, every opportunity they get away from their child or children is a no miss that makes them the best buddy for that big bash you are planning with your friends.

• Single working class mom would be said to have experienced life, made mistakes, laughed at herself, cried and must have picked herself up quite well. She is no longer a baby and so many things you as the man might do will no longer be new for her. No fear of pregnancy because she has passed the stage where she makes such mistakes getting pregnant unplanned.

• Single working class moms are considered preferable in relations because they have sense of responsibility.

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Six facts about UK’s new Children’s Minister

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Six facts about UK’s new Children’s Minister

She was born in Wimbledon, grew up in Nigeria, where she experienced “living without electricity and doing my homework by candlelight”, and briefly lived in the United States. She made the UK her home at the age of 16, doing her A levels part time at an FE college in London and working part-time at McDonalds to help support herself.

Ms Badenoch was an engineering apprentice before studying the subject at the University of Sussex, and is a member of the British Computer Society and the Women’s Engineering Society. She also studied law at Birkbeck, University of London. She has also worked as a maths tutor, a systems analyst and digital director at the Spectator.

She has been both a primary and secondary school governor, holding the role at St Thomas the Apostle College, a Catholic secondary school in Southwark, south London, and Jubilee Primary School, in Lambeth, south London.

Ms Badenoch has spoken about school funding in the House of Commons. In a speech in April, she highlighted a school in her constituency suffering teacher shortages, relying on parental donations, and cutting school bus services. She has also raised concerns about the effect of universities giving pupils unconditional offers.

On the day Boris Johnson became prime minister, she tabled a question to the education secretary about a key Boris Johnson campaign pledge, asking “what plans he has to change regulations relating to schools so that they receive national funding formula per pupil de minimis levels in full”. Her only previous education-related written question was about student loans.

The minister is a rising star in the Conservative Party, being chosen to introduce Theresa May at the party’s annual conference in 2017, and later that year being put in charge of selecting candidates for the 2022 general election.

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Over 150,000 Nigerian women suffer from VVF annually – MOH

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Over 150,000 Nigerian women suffer from VVF annually – MOH

The National Programme Coordinator, Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Ogunmayiwa Peters, has called for more funding to address the high rising cases of VVF related issues in the country saying that one hundred and fifty thousand women suffers from VVF annually.

She made the call in an interview with newsmen at the end of a one month training of Doctors and Nurses on VVF surgery and management sponsored by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Canadian government and the federal ministry of health which held at the VVF Center Ningi, Bauchi State.

Mrs. Ogunmayiwa said that over 150, 000 women across the country suffer from VVF annually, however disclosed that, plans are in the pipeline to build more VVF centers across the country to increase access by patients. She added that a proposal for more funding was also forwarded with a high hope that it will soon be approved.

Also speaking, the training program officer, Dr Musa Elisha said that the participants at the one month training were drawn from Bauchi and Sokoto States.  He said that during the training, over 50 VVF patients were treated free of charge adding that the free surgery and training were aimed at reducing the prevalence of VVF in the country which he said was at an alarming rate.

Elisha said that the surgeries of the 50 patients were also sponsored by the UNFPA in collaboration with the Canadian Government and the Federal Ministry of Health.

According to him, besides the 150,000 VVF cases nationwide, there is an increase of between 20,000 annually which, he said, must be reduced urgently.

He however disclosed that, despite the efforts being put in place, the number of increase in the cases far exceeded the number of women being treated through corrective surgery which he said was a little over 4000.

Dr Elisha added that, the UNFPA is also addressing the underlying socio-cultural factors that remained the major predisposing factors of having VVF among women.

The Chief Medical Director (CMD)  VVF Center, Ningi,  Dr Nasiru Umar Ibrahim said that over 1000 patients have been treated at the center in the last five years with an average of about 200 patients annually. He added that, patients come to the center for treatment from other states across the country as well as neighbouring countries.

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Study reveals many women feel they were ‘mistreated’ during childbirth

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Study reveals many women feel they were ‘mistreated’ during childbirth

Inever realized how sacred the childbirth story was for moms until I had a story of my own. In the days after coming home from the hospital, I was so deeply affected by mine — not to mention, trying to level out from the hormonal zaps and panic attacks my body was processing — that in order to understand the pieces of the birth story, I had to do it outside of the house, in the day time, at a park.

I vividly remember sitting down with my mom on a bench a few days after we came home from the hospital — for the initial few days I had a hard time being around people in general — and unpacking the experiences with her. Namely, the nurses. Prior to delivering, moms told me that if you went to the hospital with treats for the nurses, they’d treat you especially well, so I went in with an assortment of Kiehl’s lotions and chocolates. But I can’t say it did much.

There was the first nurse during intake who was clumsy with me and not equipped to handle my panic attacks. I did not expect a labor and delivery nurse to also be a psychiatrist, but her dismissing my panic by telling me “you’ll be fine” was infuriating because that’s not how panic works.

There was the second nurse who looked bored during my active pushing. Granted, I ended up pushing for a long time, but she looked unenthused to be there. Then there was that moment two hours into pushing where I asked her to call my doctor because I was in tears and had no energy left, and instead, she left the room to find my OB-GYN and I vomited all over myself. There was the third nurse who rushed in when my husband pushed the call button because I was in active labor and covered in vomit, who spoke poorly of the second nurse who’d just left. “What is she doing leaving you in labor?” Then there was the overnight nurse who, after I finally delivered my daughter via vacuum extraction, twisted at my nipples to get my daughter to latch, nagging me with a “come on, mommy” every time she pressed my daughter into my breast. She squeezed my nipples to no end, with that nasal-y cheer: “Come on, mommy.” She sounded like a pissed-off coach who had nothing left in her bag of motivating tricks but her voice. And then there was the sh*t-talking nurse from earlier who came back in to replace my ice packs, looked at my vagina, and made an alarming gasp sound and said, “Ayeeee.” And then in the morning, there were two different nurses who came in, saw that the IV was still in my arm, questioned while it was still there, said they’d be back to take it out, and never did. There were more experiences like that with more nurses, and while nothing dangerous ever happened during my stay, I’ve never ever come close to saying I enjoyed my birth experience. My general feeling about how the nurses treated me was that my emotional needs weren’t met. And maybe that’s not what they do. Maybe if I wanted hand-holding I should’ve hired a doula. Or a therapist.

But this indifference about my birth story is why the second I saw this article on Huffington Post about a new study in which many women claim they were yelled at during birth, my reaction was to click and devour. According to a survey recently published in the journal Reproductive Health, 17 percent of the 2,000+ women surveyed said they’d been yelled at, ignored, or denied some kind of help, or they’d experienced a mix of those things while in the maternity ward. Of course, no one ever yelled at me, but I definitely felt ignored, especially the following day during my recovery. I had so much blood on the floor of my bathroom that they just stopped coming in to clean it up, so I used wee-wee pads and layered them on top of the blood drops so that I didn’t have to walk in it.

Huffington Post did a nice job of pointing out how subjective the Reproductive Health study is, and just how many contributing factors need to be considered: race, socio-economic class, location, religion, on and on — all of these things play a part in the complete birth experience and one’s access to medical care in general. My takeaway from this study certainly isn’t that nurses are mean, or that women shouldn’t deliver at hospitals, because for me, I still believe the hospital was the best choice for what I wanted. And I would still say I was completely taken care of from a medical standpoint. The importance of this study, however, lies in the fact that the physical pain of delivery is also only part of the piece of the birth story. It doesn’t end when the baby is placed on our chests for skin-to-skin. Our birth story includes the after care. The way the nurses treat us, care for us, and, in the case of my naive, wishful thinking, perhaps even coddle us a little bit.

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Mum & Parenting

‘Girls Not Brides’ appoints new CEO to lead global fight against child marriage

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‘Girls Not Brides’ appoints new  CEO to lead global fight against  child marriage

Girls Not Brides: An international global partnership on ‘End Child Marriage today’, has announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr. Faith Mwangi-Powell as announced will join the secretariat in London by September 2019 following the departure of the non-governmental organisation former Executive Director, Lakshmi Sundaram earlier this year. As a champion of gender equality, womens’ and girls’ rights,  Dr. Mwangi-Powell has a wealth of experience in the development sector, in movement building, and in strategic and organisational leadership.  Dr. Mwangi-Powell joins the organisation from Nairobi, Kenya, where she is currently the Global Director for The Girl Generation (TGG), a DFID-funded project to end female genital mutilation (FGM) led by Options Consultancy Services.

Prior to her role with TGG, Dr. Mwangi-Powell held several leadership positions including founding Executive Director of the African Palliative Care Association, a membership-based organisation working to end pain and suffering for people with life-limiting illnesses across Africa. According to her biography,she has a strong public health background, with specialist knowledge in sexual reproductive health, palliative care, HIV and AIDS, advocacy, human rights, and gender equality. With her previous advocacy, financing and palliative care work with the Open Society Foundations in New York, Dr. Mwangi-Powell has a firm grounding in international foray in addition to her regional expertise.

Mabel van Oranje, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Girls Not Brides, said: “Faith Mwangi-Powell has a lengthy and impressive track record of building civil society alliances around complex issues like palliative care and FGM. I am excited that our global partnership will benefit from her strategic leadership and advocacy skills. I look forward to Faith strengthening the work of our member organisations and our secretariat, as well as our collaborative efforts with governments, UN organisations, media and local change-makers, as we accelerate our efforts to end child marriage.”

Dr. Mwangi-Powell commented: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Girls Not Brides family as the new CEO. Girls Not Brides is an organisation I not only respect but also greatly admire, and I share members’ conviction that every girl has the right to lead the life she chooses. I’m keen to bring my passion and experience of working at a regional, pan-African and global level to bear as we support the diverse needs of the growing Girls Not Brides membership.

“I have seen just how harmful gender-discriminatory practices like child marriage can be for girls, their communities and nations through my work on FGM,” she continued. “I’m passionate about creating real and lasting change in girls’ lives, particularly those who are most vulnerable and at risk; joining the Girls Not Brides team means I can continue that mission.”

Over 650 million women alive today were married as children. Child marriage violates girls’ rights to health, education and opportunity and exposes them to violence throughout their lives. Evidence shows that ending child marriage will catalyse global efforts to improve health, education and address poverty. Civil society organisations play a critical part in ending child marriage, especially those working at the grassroots level with girls, their families and their communities. Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 1,200 civil society organisations from over 100 countries committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfill their potential.

Dr. Rachel Yates will continue to head up the organisation as Interim Executive Director until the autumn.

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Mum & Parenting

Speak up on rape… Akeredolu challenges women

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Speak up on rape… Akeredolu challenges women

Nigeria ranks the 8th worst country in the world on child abuse, sexual assault. Wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyawun-Akeredolu has advised victims of rape in the country to speak up in order to enable the law enforcement agencies to prosecute the offenders.

Mrs. Akeredolu in a statement titled “Broken voices: A call to Action to end Rape in Nigeria” said the refusal of rape victims made it difficult to prosecute offenders and make the crime to continue unabated.

Pointedly, Mrs. Akeredolu said, “Even with the best legal framework in place to put offenders behind bars forever, it is still ineffective if victims do not speak up, especially those who can.”

She, however, commended Mrs. Busola Dakolo for speaking up on the rape against her despite what was at stake and how it may affect the flourishing musical career of her husband.

Mrs. Akeredolu said the menace of rape has eaten deep into the fabrics of our society as Nigeria now ranks the eighth worst country in the world when it comes to child abuse including sexual assault.

Her words “According to the #MeToo and #TimesUp report, Nigeria is the ninth most dangerous country in the world for women. These shocking statistics confirm the innumerable number of cases of sexual violence reported in many corners throughout the country. “As alarming and shocking as the problem may seem, perpetrators have grown from being first-time offenders to serial rapists. They present themselves in various forms-father, uncle, brother, cousin, neighbour, lurking in their cocoons waiting for the next prey.

On the celebrated case of the rape allegation between Busola Dakolo and Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of COZA Church, Mrs. Akeredolu said “we can all agree, without any complex analytical skills, that the victim in question broke the ice by speaking up. Such courage and bravery! The fear and shame attached to speaking up and coming out to report cases of sexual abuse are undoubtedly the banes of finding a perfect solution to the problem.

“Her act of bravery has raised a lot of awareness on the several faces offenders may wear and has indeed given millions of other victims the courage to speak up. In less than 24 hours of releasing her story, social media went buzzing with many other stories previously untold unveiling themselves one at a time.

“More victims came up with their cases and boldly spoke about ways of avoiding rape without fear of public victimization or shame. This is exactly what movements like #MeToo and unbroken.ng have tried to advocate for, in a bid to curb the age-long menace.

“While there are several other ways of preventing sexual violence in our society, including effective legal framework to prosecute all offenders, strengthening community security, increased awareness among women and girls, public enlightenment on the Nigerian Criminal Code as it affects sexual violence, however, the ability to speak up when it happens remains the first and most vital step to solving the problem.

“There are many advantages to speaking up. According to Nwafor (2019), sexual violence victims should not only report cases but must also present early so that adequate evidence can be collected. That voice, however, broken, must not go mute because it can be made to sing again.

“Every woman, girl or boy who has been a victim of sexual violence must speak up. Speaking up is the first phase of recovering from the trauma. It can also prevent other associated health issues such as infectious diseases including HIV, teenage pregnancy, depression and mental illness, suicide and many more.”

Mrs. Akeredolu added that everyone must join hands to end sexual violence in Nigeria and support victims who speak up and end all forms of victimization.

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