Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire

Martins Ifijeh
Federal Government of Nigeria in partnership with the Office of United Nations Secretary General has strengthened their resolve to end violence against children in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who made this known recently in Abuja while meeting with Special Representative of United Nation Secretary General, Marta Santos Pais, said the government was committed to ending all forms of violence against children.

He said “the government is committed to end violence against children in Nigeria, the present administration opted for a slogan change, the change we always talk about is not just to the team but change of direction and ways of doing things and obviously one important change is to address violence against children. Violence against children is unwholesome, medically, it has negative effect on the emotional and mental health of the growing child and some of these damages may last for life, while some of the children may grow up to become violent,” he said.

He noted that ending violence against children is a multi-sectoral task, all the line ministries which include health, justice, education, women affairs and social development would jointly workout strategies toward putting an end to violence against children.

In her remarks, the visiting UN Special Representative to Nigeria Marta Santos Pais, said the country’s Ministry of Health had greater role to play in ending violence against children.

“The ministry should develop a parent-child communication training manual on sexuality and on the health implications of violence against children,” she added.

She also urged the ministry to develop public health messages on violence against children and implement a public campaign to promote awareness on the negative impact of violence on children’s health including engagement with community leaders and existing community-owned resource persons.