September 29, 2009

Benue monarchs tasked over early marriage

By Peter Duru

MAKURDI — Royal fathers in Benue State have been challenged to address the despicable practice of early marriages especially among teenage girls, which has become a common feature in parts of the state.

This plea was made by the Director of Public Health (DPH) in Benue State Ministry of Health, Dr. Joseph Kumba while leading a team of health personnel on an advocacy visit on the paramount ruler of Logo Local Government area, HRH Ter Logo Chief Jimmy Meme, at Ugba.

Dr. Kume’s team, which was in Ugba under the auspices of the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the State Ministry of Heath in commemoration of the Safe Motherhood and the Breast Feeding Week in Benue State, expressed disappointment that they discovered in their one week of community service in the area that underage girls were made mothers too early in life hence they could not properly cater for their babies.

Represented by the Reproductive Health Co-ordinator in the state, Dr. Terver Chieshe, the Director lamented that many of the babies who were tested in the course of the community services area were found to be mal-nourished which he attributed to the inability of their under-aged mothers to avail them basic care at their very tender age.