Men told to play with children in the womb to stimulate brain development

 Lillian Awino a nurse at Lwak mission hospital. She called for male involvement in child development

Thursday, February 18, 2021

 By Brian Ondeng

Men have been encouraged to bond with their unborn children through plays in order to enhance their brain development once they are delivered.

According to Lillian Awino a nurse at Lwak mission hospital, brain development for a child after birth is dependent on the bond created between the child and the parents while still in the womb.

Speaking during the launch of Smart Start project at Mahaya in Rarieda Sub County, Awino said that although the child is in the mother’s womb, men should endeavor to play with the child as often as possible to create a lasting bond.

“After six months in the womb the child’s senses are fully developed and is able to hear, respond to touch and play is very important at this level,” Awino said

 She disclosed that at birth the child’s brain is about 20% developed and needs play, good nutrition, immunization, safety and security for it to grow to 80% by age three when they are expected to join pre-school.

Awino has therefore asked men to take up the active involvement in their child’s life right form conception rather than leaving the responsibility to women.

“From the data that we have in health facilities male involvement in the lives of their children right from conception is still too low. Men generally wait for children to grow before trying to get involved a situation that denies children strong foundation in their lives,” Awino stated.

She added that men also need to relate well with the mothers of their child while the child is still in the womb so that the child feels safe and secure.

“A child in the womb will easily detect a hostile environment and will be affected by domestic violence in the house which affects their brain development,” Awino said.

Siaya County Health Promotion officer Jacob Chieng said men who accompany their wives to clinics have always enjoyed special treatment in health facilities because they often get priority to access health service for their children.

Chieng disclosed that Siaya county health facilities have also tailor- made services for male to allow them access services in the facilities in the evenings when they have the free time.

“Even though male involvement in the lives of their children is low, there is a significant improvement as compared to five years ago. The number of men taking their wives to clinics has increased significantly and their health seeking behaviors have also changed thanks to the use of technology where we can communicate directly to men through their phones,” said Chieng

Rarieda Sub County MoH George Ougo lauded the office of the Siaya county government Governor’s wife Rosela Rasanga for launching the project that will ensure children in the region get strong foundation to life.

He revealed that activities of the program are currently being implemented in the villages and in all facilities in the region.

Mrs Rasanga was represented at the launch by Dr. Sam Ochola who called upon the multi sectoral partners to support the program for the benefit of the child.

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