As Rwanda struggles to promote Early Child Development (ECD), where a child has to be catered for from pregnancy to six years of initial care, there is need of having support from the family members, especially men (husbands) and health providers.
This week The New Times carried out a survey in Kayonza and Rwamagana district on what would be lacking to have the required ECD, and the common point was, a need to have men to intervene directly.
According to the Director of the Rwamagana district health centre, Emile Gasore, men should be sensitized about the need to participate more as their intervention would help accelerate ECD.
‘Men have not understood some of important issues which cause conflicts in families, such as gender equality and Family Planning. If they could understand all this, this could positively affect the outcome of ECD’, Gasore noted.
He explained that men being the family heads, should be in a better position to better understand and support all programmes geared towards ECD. He added that anything that affects Family Planning, affects women and children.
He also said that families which experience conflicts often lead to inflicting trauma on children. He said that mothers need good nutrition at least while pregnant and this should be extended during the breast feeding stage.
Rose Mukantambara, a resident in Rwinkwavu Sector, Kayonza district said men have a role to play when it comes to issues touching on the lives of pregnant women and children.
She said that in most cases pregnant women do not get the care and the love that they needed, especially from their husbands.
She said that some women suffer abuse during pregnancy ,and this affects the baby in the womb, adding that such incidents mostly happen in cases where men also abuse alcohol.
‘The government has not yet given attention to ECD, but we hope that in collaboration with UNESCO it will be recognised’, Rwanda- UNESCO commission’s Permanent Secretary, Eliphaz Bahizi earlier said.
‘Research indicates that a child’s development from pregnancy is heavily influenced according to the surrounding environment’, the Ministry of Education Consultant on ECD, Brigitte Izabiriza noted.
She said that ECD is not normally accorded a high level of consideration in the country and as such some parents do not give the care and love that a child needs during inception stage.