As part of Child protection Week, Newcastle Primary Health Care Clinic engaged mothers on the importance of protecting their children from the alarming pandemic of gruesome killings in the country.
The mothers who were visiting the clinic last Thursday were warned of the dangers that threaten the lives of their children, as 1-5 year olds are mostly targeted by culprits according to Chief Nutrition Advisor Joslene Hendriks.
“It’s not safe to leave your children with anyone nowadays, even with a border in your house. If a child plays with the neighbour’s children, the culprit will take your child from that group and the other children will not even notice, only later to discover that the child has been raped and murdered,” said Hendriks. She also added that in many instances, when a woman dumps her boyfriend, he comes back to retaliate and takes it out on the child by raping and killing an innocent victim.
The clinic manager Lindiwe Sukazi also cautioned mothers about the risks of sending their children to a tuckshop alone, adding that though children needed to learn from young to be responsible enough to handle money, however they needed to at least make sure the child is safe and accompanying them.
She also warned them not to leave their babies with strangers at the taxi rank where they run the risks of desperate women.
“Most women have pressures from their in-laws who are not aware that she cannot have children and is expected to bear children for the husband. We must also be careful of uncles who are abusing children out there, not all of them but it is not easy to trust anyone with your child, even relatives,” Sukazi stated.
She also stressed the importance of loving children and ensuring their safety at all times as she urged them to be on the look out for people who are trying to be nice to them when they are holding their babies.
Sukazi said in most cases, kidnappers pose as friendly people and even offer to help with your baby while they have a plan to steal the child.
“You carry your babies for nine months, which is a very long time, value your children and be extra careful, otherwise you will find yourself mourning because you trusted the wrong people with your child,” she concluded.