Health is my right

I am Armand, a Child Reporter from Goma. Today, I want to tell you about the radio programme that my young reporter friends and I hosted to appeal for a reduction in child mortality and to promote the fight against health problems.

The programme was hosted by Laetitia, Obed, Jospin and me; we are all Child Reporters. Obed spoke about the causes of child mortality in children under 5: malnutrition, pneumonia, malaria, the lack of vaccines, etc. He also took the opportunity to advise everyone that they should always sleep under a mosquito net impregnated with insecticide. This is the best way to protect oneself against malaria-carrying mosquitoes, which claim many victims in our region in the east of the DRC.

Jospin told us about the sharp decrease in the mortality rate among children under 5, which was revealed by the most recent Demographic and Health Survey. He also spoke about vaccination, which has a significant impact on children’s lives. He mentioned that here in Goma, several churches forbid worshippers to receive vaccination, on the grounds that it has an adverse effect on a child’s development. But Jospin advised parents to vaccinate their children, thereby ensuring their right to life.

If you deprive a child of vaccination, you deprive him of life.

As for Armand, he was keen to talk about child nutrition. He focused on an investigation carried out by the children’s parliament; this showed that only 3 out of 10 children eat nutritious foods three times a day, which include protective, energy-giving and body-building nutrients. He also spoke directly to mothers, to make them aware that it is absolutely essential that they breastfeed their children during the first six months of life. Finally, he asked the authorities in the health field to dedicate more funds to the health budget so that our brothers in the various territories can be vaccinated regularly.

Laetitia concluded by thanking the Community Network for Development (R.E.M.E.D.) and UNICEF for allowing children the great privilege of expressing themselves. In this way, we young reporters can continue to speak out for children’s rights.

Translated from French by Sally Axon

Firstly published in May 2015

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Armand a 16 ans. Il étudie les sciences à Goma au Nord-Kivu et veut devenir pédiatre. C'est pour plaider en faveur des enfants qu'il est devenu parlementaire du parlement d'enfants de Goma et enfant reporter en 2014. Son but est de vivre dans un Congo où les droits de l'enfant sont bien respectés.

Armand is 16 years old. He studies sciences in Goma, North-Kivu and wants to be a paediatrician. In order to defend the cause of children, he took part in the children's parliament of Goma and became young reporter in 2014. His dream is to live in a Congo where children's rights are fully respected.

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