NDN Staff Reporter
Windhoek, July 07 – Shocking news of 45 children’s deaths due to malnutrition-related diseases has highlighted the government’s failure to uphold basic human rights and protect the most vulnerable members of society in the Omaheke Region. This tragic situation has shed light on the deep-rooted socioeconomic disparities and the urgent need to prioritize the well-being of children.
According to a social worker in Gobabis, a few weeks ago, one of her clients, an adult male, was hospitalized for malnutrition. This distressing incident, along with the recent child fatalities, has raised significant concerns about the government’s inability to effectively address poverty and malnutrition. The lack of comprehensive social protection measures is a stark contradiction to both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 8 of the Constitution, which guarantee every child’s right to a reasonable quality of life.
In order to tackle the pressing issues of poverty and malnutrition, experts have suggested the implementation of potential solutions, such as the universal Basic Income Grant (BIG). This evidence-based approach aims to provide households with the necessary financial security to make informed decisions, including access to essential necessities like food. The reliance on community soup kitchens alone is insufficient; families must have consistent incomes to ensure proper nutrition for their children.
Civil society organizations play a crucial role in advocating for policy reforms and putting pressure on the government to prioritize the welfare of society’s most vulnerable members. The current government actions, falling short in safeguarding children and addressing poverty and malnutrition effectively, necessitate the implementation of comprehensive policies and programs. The universal BIG could serve as a starting point, complemented by other social infrastructures that provide necessary services to the impoverished.
Furthermore, the government should conduct assessments of the inflationary effects on essential items, considering the current socioeconomic conditions. It is the poorest among us who bear the brunt of these effects, as they struggle to afford basic necessities like food. The recent passage of legislation for a universal BIG demonstrates the government’s commitment to advancing human rights and ensuring the well-being of children.
Dr. Basilius Kasera, a respected lecturer in religion, philosophy, and applied ethics at the University of Namibia/Unam, has expressed his own opinions regarding this matter, clarifying that they do not represent those of his employer or associates.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of the Namibia Daily News