Day of the African Child, 2017
Back in 1976, close to ten thousand black students from Soweto in South Africa took to the streets to express their dissatisfaction on the quality of education they were accessing. Their demonstration was to reveal how the Black Education Act discriminated against children on the basis of race. Many children lost their lives during the demonstrations and after two weeks, the protest was christened the Soweto uprising. More students were killed and thousands sustained injuries. In light of this, the Organization of African Unity in 1991, now known as the African Union labelled the day as the Day of the African Child in respect for the children who took part in the demonstrations.
Education, security, access to healthcare, food and nutrition are some of the aspects that we envision for all children. However, due to factors such as financial instability by parents and guardians, some children have not been able to access these services. Thus, the Day of the African Child is commemorated annually to raise awareness on the recurring need to meet the desires of every African child. The global theme for the day is “Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children in Africa by 2030.”
Stop TB Partnership Kenya joined other Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) and religious leaders to call on stakeholders to be more conscious of the rights of the children especially in regard to accessing services for TB, HIV and Nutrition. In her presentation, Eveline Kibuchi, National Coordinator, Stop TB Partnership Kenya a called out the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to develop policies that would facilitate prevention and management of TB in schools. With the introduction of free primary education and affordable secondary education, there was an unprecedented upsurge in school enrollments. However, the infrastructure remained constant. The resultant conditions are highly congested schools which provide a good environment for the spread of TB. This is mostly seen in boarding schools. She added that poor nutrition, lack of policies and stigma are some of the factors that needed to be dealt with in order to ensure that children suffering from TB recover with ease.
She appreciated the Government for introducing a child-friendly TB treatment which was launched in 2016. It is worth noting that Kenya was the first country globally to launch the new formulation.
This was said during the media sensitization briefing on the Day of the African Child held on 23rd May ahead of the day of the African child. Media houses and religious leaders were brought together and sensitized on their role in ensuring the rights of the child are upheld.
Stop TB Partnership-Kenya and her partners call upon parents, educationists, faith leaders and the youth to join and work towards solving the challenges facing children infected and affected by HIV and TB.
Mulika TB, Maliza TB among Children!