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Chiefs and village elders to be sensitized to report child abuse cases

Stakeholders meeting during the county children advisory committee meeting have underscored the need to sensitize chiefs and village elders to ensure they report child abuse cases.

The meeting in Lodwar with the support from USAID Imarisha Jamii, cited child neglect as the major cause of children’s concerns in Turkana County. It emerged that a majority of child abuse cases in Turkana County go unreported.

According to the county Children Protection Information Management System (CPIMS), 66.4 percent of the cases affecting children were neglect cases.

Other leading cases are children in custody which account for 13.8 percent and refugee children accounting to 5.6 percent.

County children coordinator Julius Yator said the committee has a long way to go in addressing child abuse.

Yator emphasized the role of parents in addressing children’s neglect adding that poverty cannot always be used as a scapegoat to letting the children go to the streets.

“If we tackle illiteracy, health issues and food security, we will have helped resolve other issues affecting the community,” he said.

He singled out education as a key factor in addressing many challenges facing society.

USAID Imarisha Jamii representative Edwin Onyango said the organization is committed to roll out an integrated package of services in HIV prevention, HIV care and treatment, health, and social services for Orphans and Vulnerable Children and their families.

He added that the project is supporting Family Planning, Reproductive Health, Maternal, New-born, Child, and Adolescent Health (FP/RMNCAH) and Nutrition through co-created County -led actions, partnerships with the County departments of health and social services, and by engaging key stakeholders.

CPIMS is a child-focused database that has been designed to facilitate monitoring and evaluation of child protection interventions in Kenya, inform policy and evidence based decision making. It also aims to provide access to accurate, timely and reliable aggregate-level child protection data.

Another role of the database is to facilitate record keeping and information management on individual cases of child protection and track vulnerable children longitudinally and geographically to ensure continuity of care and protection, including children in institutional care.

By Peter Gitonga

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