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A NEW PANDEMIC TORMENTING THE WORLD
I t is no longer strange globally of the recent ‘Hitler’ called CORONAVIRUS or COVID -19 killing thousands of people without a machine gun or bullets.
What is this monster killing without bullet or machine guns, without mercy? According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered Coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
For a better understanding of how the symptoms are, It is germane to notice the following:
- DRY COUGH
- SHORTNESS OF BREATH, ACHES AND PAINS
- SORE THROAT
HOW TO PREVENT INFECTION FROM CORONAVIRUS
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Keep at least I metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your face
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing(you may use mouth/nose mask)
- Stay indoor if you feel unwell
- Avoid smoking or other activities that weaken the lungs
- Practise physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and stay away from a large crowd
The World Health Organization hints that those with mild symptoms should self isolate and contact their medical provider or a COVID-19 information line for advice on testing or referral.
Helpline in Nigeria-Whatsapp –text Hi to NCDC-07087110839
It is pertinent to remember the information given by the Nigeria Health Minister-Prof. Ehanirie Osagie that ‘no private hospital in Nigeria has been authorized to treat coronavirus’. Let us help ourselves and help others against this deadly disease by obeying the medical expert’s counsels. Only accredited hospitals must attend to a suspected patient.
By- Idowu Julius
WHY GIRL- CHILD MARRIAGE IN 21ST CENTURY?
The issue of girl-child marriage is no longer a new thing. But the other side of it is whether people, -parents, in particular, understand the dangers involved in giving out their under-aged children in marriage. So, what is child marriage by definition and is it only among Africans that we have it? What are the reasons for girl-child marriage(s), how can we curb or expunge the practice? Are there any social implications? Let’s explore to find these.
Child –marriage is any formal or informal union where one or both parties are under the age of 18 years. Reliable records indicate that 12illion girls are married before the age of 18 years. Child marriage is found across countries, cultures, and religions. For example, the practice happens in Nigeria, Brazil, Indonesia, Ethiopia, North America, and Europe just to mention a few.
Many reasons have been advanced for this form of a barbaric, callous and dangerous form of union. Among these are gender inequality, poverty, traditions, and insecurity. The most common among these reasons are poverty and tradition/culture.
Many parents found it difficult to cater for their children after birth and therefore resort to trading them off before the ripe age of 18 years expecting that they would get some financial rewards from such ‘business’. Also, they believe that the child(ren) will no longer be their own ‘headache’ in terms of welfare which now rests solely on the husband. Similarly, in some traditions/cultures, friends agree to marry off their girl-child even while in the womb. The idea is like trade by barter. The help rendered in the past or to be rendered now or future is compensated with the promise of such under-aged girls without any recourse to their well-being or future.
On the social aspect, they regard it as a social status symbol making their girl-child raise babies to populate their environments, not minding the health and psychological hazards involved. The underage is later in her husband’s house turned to a sex slave and instrument of abuse on the farm instead of going for formal or basic education to prepare her for future or womanhood. Some of them that are lucky to be in school before they are married off are scared of their precarious situations and daily looking forward to a change or stop to this uncivilized practice. For example, in Ethiopia, it was recorded that a girl was engaged at 8 years and now 12 years old!!! Her major dream now is looking forward to the moment she would leave the school to live with her husband-old enough to be her father.
Because of the serious social negative impact, the child-marriage is having on these innocent under-age girls and the society, a panorama was conducted with the public and other professionals. Let’s hear them:
INTERVIEW WITH MRS JAIYEOLA
Question-TIN- What do you understand by girl-child marriage?
Answer-Mrs. Jaiyeola- By my understanding, girl-child marriage is a union between an adult man and an under-aged girl of less than 18 years.
Question-TIN-What in your opinion is responsible for this?
Answer-Mrs Jaiyeola–I think it is lack of education and poverty.
Question-TIN- Can you give out your girl-child in marriage at such a tender age?
Answer- Mrs. Jaiyeola- Never. My girl-child(ren) are in school and could not be engaged or married until after their education. By that time, they would be mature to decide who to marry.
Question-TIN-Do you envisage any danger in giving out a girl –child in marriage?
Answer- Mrs. Jaiyeola- Yes. It is not a good health-wise. The body system of the girl is not yet developed, she should still be under her parents and in school learning about her body and environment instead of rushing to involving herself in making babies.
Question-TIN-What counsel would you offer to parents giving out their children in marriage at the tender age of 12 years or less?
Answer- Mrs. Jaiyeola- They should desist from doing so. They should think of the future of these under-aged and should not be selfish because of the financial gains, they want to achieve. Also, the governments (nationally and globally) should make a law on this and enforce the implementation of the law not to allow girls below 18 years to go into marriage; they should make it illegal.
-Mrs. Jaiyeola is an Educationist and Statistician in Public service
INTERVIEW WITH MRS ALEOLUWA
Question-TIN –What do you understand by girl-child marriage?
Answer-Mrs Aleoluwa-Girl-Child marriage is any formal or informal union where one or both of the partners are under 18 years of age, especially the girl who is prone to many complications.
Question-TIN-Do you think this type of union is very convenient?
Answer-Mrs Aleoluwa- NO. It is a marriage of inconvenience where a girl-child is coarse or manipulated by parents into early and dangerous marriage without any consideration for the girl’s well being.
Question-TIN- Is this practice peculiar to the African continent?
Answer-Mrs AleOluwa- NO. It is universal. Although more common in Africa. Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18 years; countries, cultures and religions not withstanding-23 girls, every minute, nearly every 2 seconds!
Question-TIN- Do you think this girl-child marriage brings positive development where it is practiced?
Answer-Mrs AleOluwa- There is no right-thinking person that would support an under-aged girl for marriage because of its numerous complications such as subjecting the girl to so many hardships in life, because she is not prepared for the task ahead. She may not know how to cope with relationship, hence end up being labeled ‘a failure’ if eventually divorced. Also, she will be under psychological trauma owing to a greater risk of violence, orchestrated by her supposedly rightful development. Because that is the age to be in a school where she will meet her age mates to learn so many things that would add value to her life.
Question-TIN-Apart from what you’ve mentioned, are there any other disadvantages?
Answer-Mrs AleOluwa- They ate numerous. She is robbed of her childhood experience; she will be trapped in poverty if she doesn’t go to school or learn any trade. It is a form of sexual abuse if forced into such a marriage by the parents. This type of union prevents such a girl-child from achieving her full potentials and unable to realize her dreams or ambitions as she wants.
Question-TIN-Health wise, is the girl-child safe?
Answer-Mrs AleOluwa- Health wise, she is exposed to so many complications ranging from sexually transmitted diseases(STD), mental illness, surgical cases i.e. ruptured uterus, vesicovaginal fistula in which urine will be leaking uncontrollably out to a hole formed, linked to the urinary tract to the reproductive part. Because she is inexperienced, may not allow the baby, product of this marriage to survive because it’s a situation of ‘’a baby has given birth to a baby’’.
Question-TIN- So, there is no advantage in this girl-child marriage?
Answer-Mrs AleOluwa-Even if there is an advantage since the disadvantages override the merits, it is not worth it and we are talking about life in this case. If we value life, we will not look at the advantageous side of it which is very minimal. We should think of life which is paramount; marriage and procreation can still be achieved in later years.
-Mrs. AleOluwa is a professional Nurse at LAUTECH, Oshogbo
WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD?
-According to Nurse Aleoluwa, obstetric fistula is an injury caused by obstructed labour and which often results in ‘Constance incontinence, shame, and other health problems for social segregation of the victims. Their young bodies are not fully developed and ready to bear children. In Nigeria, Niger state has the largest rate of child marriage in the world!!! Something drastic is to be done about it.
Our Churches, Mosques, Temples (India) should start preaching or sermonizing against child marriage. Pastors/Imams should find out their ages before joining them as husband and wife and use the word of God to discourage such a union.
Communication for change is crucial in this aspect. Let there be street drama, radio and television jingles to sensitize the populace all over the world on the dangers embedded in upholding this practice.
The belief that girl-child marriage is part of some cultures/traditions notwithstanding; it must be discouraged in order not to perpetuate the circle of poverty in various societies from generation to generation. The solution is not to condemn all traditions but to work with communities to change the traditions from within. According to GIRLS NOT BRIDES Champion, Graca Machel’’ Traditions are made by people; they can be changed by people’’.
Girl- Child marriage is not only for girls. Boys are married off too. According to UNICEF, 156 million men alive today were married before 18 years of age. Child marriage often pushes boys into the workforce and forces them to undertake adult responsibilities at unripe ages and before they are ready for it.
The Centre for women development in Nigeria and other similar departments in countries affected should look into this issue objectively and act fast to discontinue the trend by partnering with their communities, agencies and the media to use oral-media in campaigning against this deadly monster of child-marriage.
Interview conducted by –Idowu Julius
THE ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES OF TOURIST CENTRES
The simple definition or meaning of tourism is to travel for pleasure or business. This could be a time to spend your time away from your home either for business ventures or relaxation with your family or loved ones to ease yourself from the hustle and bustle of your environment, especially when on annual vacation.
The saying, travelling is part of education is germane with tourism as a product of modern, social arrangements which emanated from the Western Europe around 17th century. Tourism gave birth to the famous historical Seven Wonders of the World, later known as tourist sites for the Greeks and Romans. Thus we have: (1) the Pyramids of Giza,(2) hanging garden of Babylon,(3) The statue of Zeus,(4)temple of Artemis at Ephesus(5) Mausoleum of Halicarnassus of the Anatolian king ,(built by his widow Artemisia), (6) Colossus of Rhodes, a huge bronze statue built at the harbor of Rhodes in commemoration of the raising of the siege of Rhodes (305-306), (7) Pharos of Alexandria- the famous lighthouse of the ancient world built for Ptolemy II of Egypt on the Island of Pharos off Alexandria. We could also mention the walls of Babylon or the palace of king Cyrus of Persia to mention a few.
Tourism is not so well developed or reckoned with in Nigeria probably, this was owing to the ignorance of the people or government not aware of the much economic advantages that could be derived from it. Nigeria is rich in culture and ancient artifacts which are relics of our progenitors and could be of much interest and value to us as a people and foreigners if better focus or attention is given to it.
Nearly every state of the Federation has one or more things to showcase to the world that could bring additional income to the coffers of the government or individual operator. Below are some of these tourist and recreational centres in Nigeria-( the list is inexhaustible):
ABIA STATE-Akwuete Blues Tourist Village, War Museum, Umuahia, Museum of Colonial History etc
BAUCHI STATE-Yankari Game Reserve, Yankari National Park
BORNU STATE- Lake Chad Sanctuary
CROSS RIVER STATE- Cross River National Park, Obudu Cattle Ranch, now known as Obudu Mountain Resort, (located on Obudu plateau and close to the Cameroon border)
EDO STATE- Okomu National Park
ENUGU- NikeLike Holiday Resort
IMO STATE-Oguta Lake
KANO STATE- Palm Beach Tourist Village, Falgone Game Reserve, Kano City Walls, Kano Tourist Camp
LAGOS STATE-First Storey Building in Nigeria, Badagry, Lagos Bar Beach, Muritala Botanical Garden, National Museum, Onikan, Lekki Conservation Centre, National Theatre, Iganmu, Tarkwa Bay, Whispering Palms, Relics of Slavery ,in Badagry etc.
Niger- Kanji Lake National Park
OGUN STATE- Olumo Rock, Abeokuta
ONDO STATE- Ikogosi Warm Spring, Idanre Hills
OSUN STATE- Osun Grove
OYO STATE- Ibadan Trans Amusement Park
PLATEAU STATE- Jos Museum, Jos Wildlife Park, Mando Tourist Village, Museum of Traditional architechture,Jos
RIVERS STATE- Isaac Boro Park, Isaka Holiday Resort
The governments and people should invest more in tourism and assist the viable ones as it was done for the Osun Grove classified as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This will encourage foreign and local travelers to yearn to visiting them.
The economic significance of tourist centres are numerous. They provide jobs for the tour guides. Local and foreign people are employed to work in their restaurants. For the well established ones, with hotel facilities, people are employed as hotel staff thereby providing additional income for such communities located in. They also pay taxes to government which in turn are used for infrastructural development of the country Foreigners who come on vacations (including the local ones) with their families, come with dollars, Pond Sterling and Euros which are exchanged for our local currencies which will help to stabilize our economy both at community level s and nationwide because of foreign exchange transactions that would take place.
In places where these tourist centres are, roads leading to the sites are built or repaired. Parks and other social amenities are put in place for people to enjoy. Apart from these, either locally or internationally, visitors would interact with one another, appreciate and understand diverse cultures,(Local performances, drama etc) Also ,they buy local products as souvenirs when leaving for their countries of origin or cities.
In a nutshell, the governments should look inward to unearth tourist centres all over the country and help to develop and sustain them For example, in Osun state, there are some likely tourist centres or locations that are historical and needed to be explored: the ELEYINLA MOUNTAIN, the OLD ‘’ILE OYINBO’’,’’ IBUDO KIRIJI’’, OKUTA ‘’LOSA( OKUTA LATOSA ) and ‘’OKUTA MEWA’’,all in Igbajoland in Osun state which could be developed as tourist centres to bring in internally generated funds and good development to the state.
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