…. Preaches Against Stigmatization of Coronavirus Survivors
Mrs Ekine Adeola
Lagos State Chapter of National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), has urged parents and guardians to beware of pedophiles as lockdown continues across the country to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Covid 19 pandemic has led to shut down of schools, offices, markets and other public places, making children to stay at home and prone to negative influences if not given the attention they require.
This warning was made by the Chairperson of NAWOJ, Lagos State Chapter, Comrade Adeola Ekine in a press statement
Ekine, an advocate for gender equality, safety of the girl child and the health and rights of women and girls, stated that it is important to keep sensitizing mothers to be vigilant, and be proactive to the dangers the children, especially girls, could be exposed to, so that pedophiles do not prey on them.
She also reiterated the need for parents to teach their children the importance of their body and not shy away from educating them about sex from age 5 -6.
“As female journalists in Lagos State we will continue to advocate for non discrimination of the girl child, the right to survival and development of potential, protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation and full participation in family, cultural and social life of the girl child.”
Ekine commended the efforts of the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu for arresting two people over allegedly defiling minors, 9 and 13 year old girls.
“Mothers are therefore advised not to let their wards out of their sights and avoid keeping their children with menders e.g neighbours, uncles, teachers, friends etc.
She stressed the need for mothers to be close to their children and let them find it easy to confide in their parents adding that, “as mothers it is our duty protect our children from predators, teach them to recognize inappropriate behaviors around them because most pedophile are known to the children.”
According to her, COVID 19 has no vaccine and encourages women to stay safe and follow strictly the simple but very important tips of regular hand washing, maintain social distance and encourage good hygiene in the home front because prevention is always better and cheaper than cure.
Meanwhile the organisation has advised Nigerians to refrain from stigmatizing survivors of COVID-19.
According the Ekine, Nigerians need to show love and rejoice with survivors of COVID-19 and not to stigmatize them.
She said survivors of COVID-19, just like any other infectious diseases should not be stigmatized, rather, they should be encouraged and showed love to, following what they had gone through while in isolation centers.
The Chairperson said some videos were shared by those who have been infected in Lagos State to show to people that Corona virus is not a death sentence but should be taken serious, adding that survivors should not be treated like plagues that should be disregarded..
She further urged journalists to target children in their news coverage as they could also be infected and it is important for them to understand what is obtainable in situations like this.
“Beyond reporting about the number of deaths and those that have been infected, we need to ensure that our messaging about COVID-19 targets children so they can be well informed.”
The Lagos NAWOJ Chair reiterates the need for continuous and regular hand washing and social distancing as recommended by health professionals.