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How mother-child separation fosters human trafficking, other crimes, by Oyemade

By Olugbenga Adegoke   |   23 September 2015   |   11:12 pm  

Mother and child

Mother and child

A PROFESSOr of preventive and social medicine at the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State, Adefunke Oyemade, has established the link between mother-child separation or rather maternal deprivation and the rising cases of human trafficking and other violent crimes in the society.

Oyemade who is also a professor of public health at the Faculty of Public Health, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPGMCN), Ijaniki, Lagos, last week, at the 2015 Annual Faculty Day Lecture of the College held at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) maternal deprivation which more or less means mother-child separation is the main reason behind long term effects like delinquency, reduced intelligence, depression, affectionless psychopathy.

Oyemade, who was the guest lecturer in her piece entitled “Maternal Deprivation: A Socio-cultural Pathology” said more common in Nigeria’s socio-cultural environment are the short-term effects of maternal deprivation which includes protest, despair and detachment.

Oyemade, the foremost scholar and researcher in the field of rehabilitative medicine in Nigeria, said when talking about a sensitive matter like maternal deprivation, child trafficking should and can not be avoided as it is one of the globally “fastest growing organized crimes with an estimate of 1.2 million victims per year of which 32 per cent are Africans.”

She said Nigeria, in recent years, has become a source, transit and destination country for child traffickers, currently external trafficking children exists between Nigeria and Gabon, Togo, Cameroon, Niger, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Benin Republic, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

Oyemade highlighted key factors causing trafficking including poverty, low literacy level, sexual and economic exploitation, and equally made recommendation on ways of controlling trafficking which include the media, public enlightenment programmes, making formal education crucial, establishment of organisations like the Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) and other preventive ways.

Oyemade, a doctor of medicine holder from Glasgow University, Scotland, due to her pioneering research work and thesis on the care of motherless babies in Nigeria, placed great importance on the health of a child.



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