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Medical Tests Before Marriage: Of Any Good?

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Love, that inexplicable phenomenon, has held most of its victims captive. They appear so spell-bound that neighbours question if they be under the influence of any divine operation?

People who have encountered it on the periphery, treat issues or cases concerning it with less regard.

Yet, those who at any point in history had fallen victim of its manipulation, either by some supernatural means or by shear fate, will confess, that it is a situation of life that transcends the ordinary.

The scourge of love knows no age boundary, it afflicts the young as well as the old. However, age plays a vital role in the response of each group to the stimulus of love.

To the young at heart, love is deafening and maddening. It intoxicates beyond comprehension, while to some, it tortures and reserves a little of commonsense in them to others, it uses and leaves them completely ravaged.

When under the influence of love, it is most times difficult, extremely difficult to heed to the voice of reason. Even when doom looms in sight, a stronger spirit tells its captive that it is avertable.

To the mature at heart, love can be managed, the victims release their bodies with caution to the rhythm of their tormented spirits. They try as much as possible to control feelings and not let their feelings control them, such are those that come out unhurt while the former get totally ravaged.

The issue of undergoing blood tests before marriages are contracted, is being drummed and trumpeted within and without.: Ordinarily, it is an idea and a development that ought be welcome without reservation because it serves to safe guide one’s future while also guaranteeing such a fulfilling married life, devoid of avertable illness that would eventually cause sorrow all through the life-time of its victims.

Rather than embracing this awesome idea, young ones are instead faulting it by the day, to the detriment of their family joy, what a pity!

We are talking about the couples’ joy while their relationship lasts and I think it is such a crucial issue that must not be treated with levity.

Often times, youths of our time had complained that parents are meddling too much into their personal life. They tend to prove a point that they are of age and so should be left alone to take decisions concerning their welfare as well as their well being.

Guaranteed that the Nigerian constitution provides that at age 18, a child becomes an adult and could be held responsible for his or her actions, yet, at 18, we also know that such a child that had suddenly developed into adulthood by virtue of his/her age is still very, very naïve as far as life lessons are concerned.

Therefore, posterity will not be in a hurry to forgive any parent who fails to guide such ones aright.

The message of tests before marriage contracts are signed must be preached to both the willing and the unwilling minds.

Have we ever considered the trauma of containing sickle cell anaemia, how about the scourage of HIV/AIDS? Perhaps, not enough sermon had been sounded on these burning issues that are capable of keeping us perpetually traumatised.

Our young ones going into marriage relationship must be made to understand that their eventual joy and happiness while they live their life, means a lot to their parents and other relatives who may eventually depend on them for survival.

An unhealthy family does not save money let alone taking care of people who look up to them for one assistance or the other. Apart from not extending to others, they end up most likely constituting a financial problem to their parents and concerned relatives who may not like to fold their arms and watch them suffer such health problem perpetually.

But this situation can be averted, by first ascertaining the genotype as well as the HIV status of would-be spouses. The worst if ever, is that both parties part ways should the result reveal danger. Painful though it may be at the beginning but, such emotional feelings will definitely be suppressed with time. It is better discovered early enough and such relationship aborted when no serious commitments have been made, than to discover it later in the relationship when retrieval becomes very difficult.

We can’t afford to stake the lives of our loved and young ones for momentary joy, it is not worth it. Insist on blood tests before marriage and it shall forever by well with your soul.

Don’t compromise!

 

Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi

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Women

Ondo Women Protest Half-Naked Over Insecurity

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Hundreds of women across four local government areas in Ondo State on Saturday protested against worsening security challenges in the area.
The women, who took to the streets of Oka Akoko, Akungba Akoko and some other Akoko towns, demanded improved security from the state and federal government.
Recent spate of insecurity in the area include abduction of teachers by gunmen in Auga Akoko, the killing of a police officer at Oka Akoko last week, and the attack on 17 travellers on Ifira Akoko-Isua Akoko road by armed robbers among others.
Some of the protesters, who held brooms, were half-naked and chanting various solidarity songs along the streets.
Recall that Amotekun Corps also arrested no fewer than 17 suspected bandits from the North-West of Nigeria when they stormed Okitipupa area of the state.
The suspected criminals were found with dogs, cutlasses and charms as they wandered in the area without purpose.
It was the distress call by residents of the community to Amotekun operatives that led to their arrest.

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Civil Society Calls For Laws To Harmonise NGOs’ Activities

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Some Rivers Civil society organisation under the aegis of Rivers network of NGO’s (RINNGOS) is calling on state governments in the country to come up with rules and regulations to harmonise and coordinate civil societies’ registrations for optimum performances.
This was part of the resolutions at a network Dialogue /Consultation with the theme “Strengthening State Civil Society Networks/Coalitions to Harmonise Regulatory Frameworks at the Sub-National Level”, sponsored by the European Union (EU) British Council and the Nigerian Network of NGOs.
The group also planned advocacy visits to ministries, departments and agencies in Rivers State with the view to canvassing for laws that will harmonise civil society organisations registrations in Rivers State.
According to a programme profile made available to newsmen at the programme, the objectives of the project include: raising awareness and supporting sub-national networking/coalitions of CSOs in European Union (EU) Focal States to collect and review existing frame work in their respective states to identify the gaps and opportunities for better harmonisation and coordination of CSO registration and regulations at the sub national level.
It also seeks to engage stakeholders to improve responsiveness between states ministries, departments and agencies and sub-national CSOs on the need for a harmonised regulatory framework.
It noted that the organisation aims to work in various areas such as: HIV/Aids, environmental protection, malaria, women affairs and others.
Declaring the event opened, the chairperson of Rivers Network of NGOs, Mrs Mina Ogbanga, said the event was to equip participants with the skills for advocacy.
Ogbanga said the task of changing the society is a collective one, adding that the Rivers Network of NGOs will work with every interest group to achieve success.
She said that the donor agencies were ready to fund participants to carry out projects in their respective communities.
High point of the event was the inauguration of four groups charged with the responsibility of embarking on advocacy visits to various ministries, departments and agencies in the states.

By: John Bibor & Oribim Ibama

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Women And Harmful Practices

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The bill for prohibition of harmful practices against women at the National Assembly is a welcome development.
Severally, there have been talks, seminars, workshops, fora, arguments, bills and laws abolishing issues that concern women, especially violence.  But a lot has not been achieved to curtail the menace.
Violence against girls and women has been on the increase.  From time to time, it is either girls are denied access to father’s property or a widow is denied inheritance to husband’s properties.  Even when laws are put in place about things that will help women have their rights, some persons feel that culture and tradition do not permit.
We are aware that some women are rich and may not want to partake in the share of their late parents’ property, but there are vulnerable ones who need to be empowered, through perhaps, late parents’ property inheritance.
Some of the obnoxious laws were made before now without the consent of women. There was no representative to either argue for or against so as to be beneficial to women generally.  Some of the laws were so primitive that even when civilisation came, became difficult to change. Very unfortunately, it is the women that execute the laws made by men in their absence. Women are suffering it.
If the bill abolishing certain practices against women and girls will be passed into law by the National Assembly, it will be better for them.  For long, laws against female genital mutilation and circumcision have existed but some communities with their culture and tradition have refused to put a stop to it with reasons best known to them.
Circumcision of a full-grown girl or lady may not be the only way of attaining maturity. It is a harmful practice and the pain associated with it cannot be imagined.  This illegal operation is not performed in the hospital so the dangers inherent will be much.
For those who still practice it, the menace should be discouraged as that is not a proper way of ushering a girl into womanhood. A lot of women lose their lives due to pains experienced during the process. it was practised in the past when civilisation was not there, it is a different case, nowadays with science and technology proving it wrong, those who still practise not should resist.
It is a right step in the right direction and it is time the National Assembly and all stakeholders intensified efforts in dealing with persons who perpetuate evil against their fellow women.
If the bill will be passed into law by the National Assembly, it is welcome but the fear that comes to mind is implementation.  The issue has been dwelt on for decades, but it is still practised as big ceremonies in some communities.
When it comes to inheritance, a girl born into a family, married or unmarried will be denied access to father’s property but if it has to do with the demise of parents or sickness, the woman and the husband will be mandated to provide a cow for the burial rites or offset medical bills.
If the National Assembly makes laws concerning the well-being of women, community heads, molecular leaders, women groups and associations, religious organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations NGOs and civil society organisations (CSOs) should create more awareness through the media to sensitise rural dwellers.
In this digital era, it should be forbidden that a woman loses her spouse and she is mandated to drink water used on the late husband.
The items in the bill to be passed into law by the National Assembly are in order as it concerns women.
A legal practitioner,  Tam Jacobs, said if one forcefully shaves a woman’s hair with the intention that she is mourning her late spouse, she can sue that person for assault.
He said if the woman is forced to drink water used on her late husband’s body, she can also sue for attempted murder.
According to him, several cases of girl-child inheritance have been won and documented in the law court but some cannot claim it.
“Even a widow who is handicapped may not be able to make attempts so NGOs, CSOs should be in the forefront to support them and ensure that the laws are implemented at the grassroots level where they are practised”, he said.
A pharmacist, Eno Amos said any culture that does not add colour and value to life should be abolished.
She added that implementation can be easy in the cities where awareness has been created but expressed fear that it may not be easy in the rural areas where culture is really practised.
A business woman, Agnes Ugwu, said tradition and culture were made by man and not God and wondered why people who claim to be educated still follow the tradition of ancestors who never went to school.
Ignorance also comes to play here.  If you have watched a documentary showing female genital mutilation and the gory experience the young women go through, is something else.  Some of the perpetrators claim that the practice has existed for ages. Women have to learn more about issues that concern them.
A nurse, Rosy Ekeocha, said it is not about culture but about the behavior of a group of people in the community who force it on others.
According to her, let people change their behaviour and leave culture alone.  It doesn’t happen in every family and if any family allows it that’s their business.
She said we are in the 21st century, certain culture and tradition need to be reviewed to ensure that they allign with today’s reality.
Culture is dynamic she said, but that implementation of laws relating to the vulnerable in the society calls for concern.
We should not behave the way people behaved five dacades ago, after all, we do not dress the way our forefathers dressed.  Time has evolved and things are getting better as it concerns women. We are getting more exposed and more enlightened about issues that concern is.  Information is moving round as the world is a global village.
Talking about culture nowadays, we wear shoes whereas our forefathers never had any.  They walked barefooted
far distances to get family necessities but things are better now as we are mobile.
That should also happen to culture and tradition.  There are certain aspects of our culture and tradition which are practised today that have expired long ago. We should get rid off them.
It is expected that the bills abolishing obnoxious practices against women and girls in the society will achieve expected results when passed into law at the floor of the House.

By: Eunice Choko-Kayode

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