Home ECONOMY Navigating Motherhood: The Reality Of Motherhood In Nigeria

Navigating Motherhood: The Reality Of Motherhood In Nigeria

by inlandtownadmin
0 comment

In Nigeria’s warm embrace, motherhood challenges are part of daily life. A recent incident in Ogui, Enugu State exemplifies the dilemma faced by mothers.

On March 2, a mother of three abandoned her children at a bus terminal in Enugu, stripped naked, and fled. This shocking incident disrupted society, casting a somber mood ahead of today’s 2024 Mother’s Day celebration.

The state Police spokesperson, Daniel Ndukwe, said that after receiving distress calls, the police found the children at the scene and took them to Ogui Police Station for safekeeping. Investigations are underway to locate their mother, who allegedly ran off due to a mental disorder.

Media reported that Governor’s wife, Nkechinyere Mbah, visited, offered scholarships and welfare to the three children, aged six, three, and two, now under Ministry of Gender Affairs and Social Development.

The woman’s husband informed police that his wife, who hasn’t been seen, has been exhibiting concerning behaviors, possibly indicating mental health problems.

Like the mother of three who fled, mothers across Nigeria are navigating a complex tapestry of joy and sorrow, hope and fear, all while balancing the weight of tradition and modernity.

Amid a soaring cost-of-living crisis, many Nigerian mothers are voicing their concerns loudly, some unaware of today’s celebration. Amid economic hardship, mothers face internal struggles, expected to prioritize families over personal well-being and aspirations.

Consequently, some mothers resort to selling their children.

Last month, a mother of 11 children in Anambra State, Chinyere Chukwu, was apprehended by security agents when she attempted to sell two of her sons for the sum of N1.8 million. She blamed her indiscretion on the “economic hardship of the country.”

Last May, Maria Ahmadu, 26, in Lagos, arrested for trying to sell her 9-month-old. A month earlier, Olaide Adekunle, 33, in Ogun, nabbed for selling her 18-month-old to pay a debt.

Aside from the mind-numbing economic hardship, another great challenge faced by mothers in Nigeria is the high maternal mortality rate. According to the World Health Organisation, Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with approximately 512 deaths per 100,000 live births.

A WHO report ranks Nigeria second only to India in maternal and newborn mortality. In 2020, India saw 788 deaths per thousand, while Nigeria had 540 deaths per thousand. India accounted for 17% of global deaths, and Nigeria for 12%.

UN Economic Commission: 1 in 7 global maternal deaths in Nigeria, over 50,000 yearly. Health experts, however, said about 95 per cent of deaths during childbirth are preventable.

UNICEF estimates that Nigeria’s 40 million women of childbearing age (between 15 and 49 years of age) suffer a disproportionally high level of health issues surrounding birth. Nigeria, with 2.4% of the world’s population, accounts for 10% of global maternal deaths.

These stats remind us of the tough healthcare challenges Nigerian mothers endure. The UN’s goal for maternal mortality is 70 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Child marriage is a major issue, stealing childhoods and pushing girls into early motherhood. UNICEF states Nigeria has one of the highest rates globally, with 44% of girls married before 18. This not only puts their health at risk but also perpetuates a cycle of poverty and illiteracy.

Nigeria equally lags in the global push to encourage breastfeeding. Its coverage rate of 29 per cent is far less than the minimum 60 per cent recommended by UNICEF and the WHO. The working-class category comprises many nursing mothers, which contributes to the sub-optimal score.

Only 9.0% of companies, according to the Federal Ministry of Health, have policies supporting breastfeeding and creating a conducive environment for nursing mothers to breastfeed their children. Tragically, the national initiative to promote breastfeeding is not catching on.

Private sector moms get 12-week paid maternity leave under Labour Act. If employed over 6 months, they’re eligible for half pay. Sadly, not all for-profit businesses follow these guidelines. This necessitates laws establishing basic requirements for all corporate bodies.

Despite challenges, Nigerian mothers are resilient, drawing on community support and values of love, sacrifice, and perseverance to navigate motherhood gracefully.

The challenges of motherhood in Nigeria are multifaceted and deeply ingrained in the fabric of society. Yet, Nigerian mothers bravely tackle these challenges, epitomizing motherhood’s essence: unconditional love and unwavering strength.

Govt, stakeholders, faith groups, corps, individuals must unite for better social welfare for mothers. Local primary healthcare centers urgently require proper equipment to offer quality care to expectant and nursing mothers.

Federal and state governments should prioritise the well-being of mothers in the policies they enact and the effect of economic decisions they make. Child Rights Act needed nationwide to ensure girl-child education and protect against child marriage exploitation.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More