By Patrick Edward Musisi
Children’s rights activist Dr. Keefa Sempangi has expressed worry at the alarming levels of Ugandan children who get stunted, and partly attributed this, to neglect by parents of traditional methods of arousing children’s brains from an early age.
He said that with 38 per cent of the country’s children getting stunted, Uganda is only second to Burundi in the high number of such children in Africa.
Sempangi was over the weekend opening a one-day conference for professionals, business allies and opinion leaders coming together under the umbrella organization of Business Friends Africa (BFA), geared at sharing views and identifying means of getting as many Ugandans on board in the course of developing.
It has core values of stimulating quality education, access to land by all, quality environment and constructive engagement of government to ensure all-round and non biased development.
The conference is a monthly forum held at Makerere University, and spearheaded by BFA Executive Director Dr. David Dan Mayanja, the forum’s founder.
Sempangi lamented that missionaries condemned as satanic, ringing items tied around babies’ wrists and ankles to attract them to beginning walking and signaling with their hands, while it is common practice in developed countries for the same items to be hung in babies’ cots for the same reason.
“The noise made by these gadgets stimulates the child’s brains and there is purely no hidden agenda, and it is double standards for them to condemn it in Africa and bless in China”, he noted.
Sempangi also noted that outright replacement of African ancient methods with foreign ones has killed off many children’s games and plays, and in effect led to gradual elimination of African cultures, and suggested that we should go back to our levels of tying ringing items around our children’s limbs.
Addressing problems related to parenting in the modern times, Dr. Mayanja noted that today there is a giganting hurdle of child abuse, indecency, inability to fit into society and a host of others, and charged everybody with the task of answering the question of the cause of this instability and adequately addressing it.
Among other presenters was Dr. Grace Nambatya Kyeyune the Director of Research at the Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Institute of the Ministry of Health, who outlined the growing importance and significance of traditional medicines in addressing health related problems of all scopes.