Invest in your children, minister tells parents

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The State Minister for Youth and Children, Balaam Barugahara has urged parents to always value their children at all ages.
“Your children are God-given treasures therefore, treat them like treasures, invest in them to ensure that you provided for them right from a young age, and give them a bright future,” he said while closing the Baby and Kids Expo 2024 in Kampala.

According to him, parents must always know that their children are their responsibility and thus need to invest in them thoroughly.
A 2021 study by Save the Children., a child rights organization indicated that the children in Uganda have their futures uncertain due to numerous challenges.

The study indicated that at least one out of five children do not complete primary education, more than a quarter of children under five suffer chronic malnutrition, 75 percent of children experience violence and at least 10 percent of girls are married before they are 15, and a quarter experienced sexual violence in the past year.
Mr Balaam said all this can be overturned if parents play their parental roles in the lives of their children.

“Teach your children values as they grow because this will greatly shape their future,” he added.
The three-day expo ran between May 10 and 12 was organized by Kiara events in partnership with several stakeholders, including Monitor Publications Ltd.
Ms Joweria Nabuuma, the managing director of Kiara called upon parents and guardians to always ensure children get exposed to skilling programmes.

This, she said, will help the children earn a living but most importantly will help them cope with the new lower secondary curriculum which was introduced recently by the Ministry of Education and Sports.
“In this expo, there’s lots of learning from first aid by Uganda Red Cross Society, saving, insurance, health, sports, cooking, pottery, and other skills. I urge parents to bring children so that they are taught all these skills, even how to behave at home and in public,” she said.

She added, “Baby and Kids expo, aims at bringing together children, parents, and stakeholders to discuss children’s well-being and development. This annual event that celebrates children’s wellness and joy and focuses on education, innovation, and entertainment and provides a platform for families, experts, and exhibitors to explore the latest trends in parenting, child development, and early childhood education,”
This year’s expo, she added, aimed at elevating the experience of the attendees, by providing a platform for families to connect, learn, and play together in a way that’s both educational and fun. With an increasing demand for baby and child-related products across the region.

Dr Hilda Kyarisiima, a clinical doctor, from the Ministry of Health urged parents to always check their children’s health.
On the side of the mothers, Dr Kyarisiima also addressed the issue of maternal mortality, outlining measures implemented by her ministry to reduce these deaths among mothers and children.

According to the 2022 Uganda Demographic Health Survey, the Maternal Mortality Ratio reduced from 336 to 189 per 100,000 live births while the infant mortality went from 43 to 34 per 1,000 live births.
The Ministry, Dr Kyarisiima said, has established a system that allows them to identify and categorize women at risk, as well as to continuously monitor and ensure their continued care.
However, there are three main delays contributing to these fatalities: delays at home, in reaching health facilities, and in receiving prompt attention upon arrival.
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