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International Girl Child Day: Celebrating Birth of a Girl Child

International Girls day is celebrated every year on 11th October in order to give the girl child the respect and dignity she deserves.

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International Girl Child Day
On this International Girl Child Day, let’s be a part of a world which celebrates the girl child and let’s do our bit in making the world a better place. Maxpixel

International Girl Child Day has been declared by the United Nations on the 11th October every year in order to celebrate the importance of the girl child. On the occasion of International Girl Child Day, let’s help to spread awareness about the various problems faced by the girl child.

Perception 

The common perception of any society, sees girls are often considered to be inferior to boys. Discrimination against girls is unchecked, Due to fear of exploitation, they are not sent to schools and denied the right to a decent education.

Due to fear of exploitation parents do not send girl child to schools. Pixabay

Female Foeticide

Female Foeticide is an issue which is prevalent in the urban and mostly in the rural areas. People who are ill-informed believe that a girl child is inferior to a boy and thus will not be able to help the family in any way other than increasing the burden of feeding another mouth on them.

Save a Girl Child and protect a woman’s Dignity.

 

Child Marriage

Child marriage is another important issue because of which girls are forced to drop out from their education at a very early age.  India has the highest number of girls forced into marriage under the legal age of 18 accounting for 10 million child brides in the world.

It accounts for more than 70000 deaths each year relating to maternal deaths from pregnancy and childbirth. They also become victims of domestic abuse and the dowry system.

In some parts of the country, family marries off the girl in early age in order to save their economic burden. The reason for child marriage being so prevalent even today lies in the dowry system practised by a large portion of the educated lot.

A 16-year-old girl stands inside a protection home on the outskirts of New Delhi, Nov. 9, 2012. She was rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), a charity which rescues victims of bonded labor. voa

Girl Child Health

In the rural areas, the health facilities are not very developed. If there is a choice between the girl and boy, most of the people will make sure that the boy remains healthy in the hope of him supporting the family in future. Health facilities are the basic amenities of life and are meant to be used by everybody equally. In India, several girl children die of malnutrition and diseases before the age of 6.  Higher rates of child marriage lead to maternity deaths arising from complications in pregnancy and giving birth and it also increases the chances of the stillborn infant.

Girl Child Trafficking

Girl child trafficking is the defined as the trade any girl child under the age of 18 for the purpose of exploitation whether inside or outside the country.  According to the National Crime Record Bureau, one child disappears in every eight minutes. Mostly these children are underage girls. They are taken from their homes and sold in the market for the purpose of begging, labor, and sexual exploitation.  Sometimes it is their own family members who sell them for the need of money or just because they think she is a burden.

Child Marriage
According to the National Crime Record Bureau, one child disappears in every eight minutes. Wikimedia

On this International Girl Child Day, let us be a part of a world which celebrates the girl child and do our bit in making the world a better place.  A very much needed change in the society is the change in the attitude of the people. They should understand the fact that girls are equal to boys in all aspects and should be given equal respect and liberty.

The childhood of a girl can be preserved if we as a society come together and make sure she is nurtured, cherished, protected and should be given freedom to choose her life the way she wants to live.

(The facts were first published by CRY ).

Next Story

Nigeria Seeing Increasing Cases of Heart Disease

But a non profit is collaborating with the World Heart Federation to provide proper education and treatment for underprivileged patients

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Nigeria, Heart Disease, Awareness
FILE - Women with their children wait to see doctors at a clinic operated by Doctors without Borders in Bagega village in northeastern state of Zamfara, Nigeria, Aug. 14, 2013. VOA

Health experts say Nigeria is seeing increasing cases of heart disease. Low awareness, lack of adequate medical facilities and expertise are major factors worsening the situation in the country. But a non profit is collaborating with the World Heart Federation to provide proper education and treatment for underprivileged patients.

Participants chat at an awareness and fundraising event to mark World Heart Day in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

The program is organized by the non-profit, Global Development and Charity Support Foundation in collaboration with the World Heart Federation.

Head of the non profit, Samuel Asomugha says apart from educating locals on the early signs of heart disease, his organization is making funds available to treat patients.

Nigeria, Heart Disease, Awareness
Health experts say Nigeria is seeing increasing cases of heart disease. Pixabay

“When you have a healthy heart, then you can lead a healthy life, then a lot of these health and heart related mortalities can be avoided,” he said.

The non-profit targets about 1,000 patients for treatment.

A 2018 WHO country profile reveals cardiovascular diseases is the leading cause of deaths among non-communicable diseases in Nigeria with over 11 percent prevalence.

“Whichever heart disease you want to look at, whether it’s heart failure, whether it’s coronary artery disease, the incidence of patients who are coming forward to hospital is on the rise,” says cardiologist Dauda Balami.

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Congenital heart deformities in children are also on the rise.

Nnamdi Azubuike’s one-year-old child was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2015.

“We found out that he was not breathing very well, so we went to the hospital and after the analysis, then a doctor now told us that he’s having a hole in his heart,” said Azubuike.

Heart related conditions often require tertiary level care and sophisticated surgeries but Nigeria lacks medical facilities and the expertise needed.

Nigeria, Heart Disease, Awareness
Low awareness, lack of adequate medical facilities and expertise are major factors worsening the situation. Pixabay

Paediatrician and cardiologist Tolu Utele, admits the situation is serious.

“It is almost like a death sentence for children that are born with these heart defects, all we do in most places is to manage them until they die and many of them actually end up dying,” said Utele.

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As talks around heart issues continue in Nigeria, citizens, nonprofits and many with conditions hope things get better. (VOA)