Women's status, environmental changes and child health in the riverine area of Ondo State, Nigeria
- 51 Downloads
The viewpoint that most health problems are environmentally related has always been promoted by medical geography. In recent times, concern about environmental degradation has been of high priority for many national and international organizations as ‘we human beings become a threat to our planet’. There is also a need to specifically focus attention on the impact of so-called development efforts on the health of women and children, in particular those living in highly marginalized regions which often contribute substantially to the overall development of their countries.
This paper uses the concept of vulnerability as a departure point from which to map the health risks to children in Igbekun area of Ondo State, the ‘transgressive muddy’ oil-rich coastal area of Nigeria. The paper attempts to highlight the poor quality of life and health of children in particular, and how it is becoming much more difficult to practice health intervention programmes, especially oral rehydration therapy (ORT) in the area.
The Igbekun area is an unhealthy and harsh environment, complicated by the devastating effects of oil drilling in recent years. The siltation and sedimentation of the creeks and lagoons have serious health dimensions as human faeces float in and around villages because the ‘bush toilets’ can no longer be reached. The on-going environmental crisis has also deprived women of their traditional means of livelihood; fishing.
There is a relatively high level of ignorance (compared with other women living in the same local government area (LGA) of causes of the commonest diseases such as diarrhoea, acute respiratory infection (ARI) and measles. A majority of the women have never heard of family planning, immunization against diseases and interventions such as ORT. Promotive health care services, especially those that strive to reduce the high mortality of children have passed the mothers by. It is also becoming impracticable to promote ORT because of the widespread ‘salty and oily’ water supply in the area.
The greatest concern of the women now is that oil drilling activities have further amplified their stressful conditions especially their health and that of their children. Unfortunately, their plight is not acknowledged by the Nigerian authorities and the oil companies are least concerned about alleviating the poor health status of the community, in particular the most vulnerable groups, children under the age of five.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Abegunde, M.A.A.: Shoreline Erosion and Landuse Management on the Active Sandy Barrier Beaches Around Lagos: New Focus in Environmental Management. In: Sada, P.O.; Odemerho, F.O. (eds.), Environmental Issues and Management in Nigerian Development. Evans Brothers (Nigeria), Ibadan. 1988.Google Scholar
- Adewuyi, A.A.; Feyisetan, B.J.: Correlates of Infant and Child Mortality: Empirical Evidence fron Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Report Submitted to the International Development Research Center, Ottawa, Canada 1988.Google Scholar
- Bole, Hans-George: The Geography of Famine and Food Crisis Research. International Geographical Union (IGU) Bulletin 45, pp. 5–12 (1995).Google Scholar
- Ebisemiju, F.S.: Human Impact of Marine Processes in the Western Niger Delta. In: Sada, P.O. and Odemerho, F.O. (eds), Environmental Issues and Management in Nigerian Development, pp. 239–261. Evans Brothers (Nigeria), Ibadan. 1988.Google Scholar
- Eedy, W; Rodgers S; Saunders, K.E.; Akindunni, F.: Coastal Management in Ondo State, Nigeria, Demonstration Project Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA): Paper Presented at Conference of Coastal Zone Canada '94, Halifax, September 22. 1994.Google Scholar
- Federal Ministry of Health Report: A survey of oral rehydration salt (ORS) distribution in health facilities in Nigeria. Publication of Federal Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care (PHC) Department, Lagos. 1990.Google Scholar
- Federal Office of Statistics: Rapid Assessment Survey. FOS Publication, Lagos. 1988/89.Google Scholar
- Federal Government of Nigeria/UNICEF Monograph: Lagos. p. 26 (1989).Google Scholar
- Iyun, B. Folasade: Women's Status and Childhood Mortality in two Contrasting Areas in South-Western Nigeria. GeoJournal Vol. 26No.1, 43–52 (1991).Google Scholar
- Iyun, B. Folasade: Community Water and Sanitation, Socio-Economic Analysis in Ilaje-Ese-Odo Local Government Area (LGA), Ondo State. Submitted to Water, Environment and Sanitation (WES) Section, UNICEF, Nigeria, 64pp (1993).Google Scholar
- Iyun, B. Folasade: Socio-Cultural Aspects of Use of Drugs in Treatment of Childhood Diarrhea in Rural Areas of Oyo State, Nigeria. In: Nina L. Etkin and Michael L. Tan (eds.), Medicines: Meanings and Contexts. Health Action Information Network and Medical Anthropology Unit, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Printed in Manila, Philippines, pp. 34–46. 1994.Google Scholar
- Iyun, B. Folasade; Oke, E.A.: Community and Ecological Factors Impeding Use of ORT in Riverine Areas of Ondo State, Nigeria. Progress Report. Research Supported by Applied Darrhe Disease Research (ADDR) Project, Cambridge, Massachusett, USA. 1994.Google Scholar
- Livermann, D.: Vulnerability to Global Environmental Change. In: Kasperson, R. et al. (eds.), Understanding Global Environmental Change: The Contribution of Risk Analysis and Management, Clark University, Worchester, MA, pp. 27–44. 1990.Google Scholar
- 'Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant', December 27, 1988.Google Scholar
- Ondo State Ministry of Health Monograph (1989).Google Scholar
- Rocheleau, Dianne; Thomas-Slayter, Barbara; Wangari, Esther: Feminist Political Ecology: Global Issues and Local Experiences, Routledge, London, N.Y., 3–23 (1996).Google Scholar
- Satterthwaite, David; Hant, Roger; Levy, Caren; Mitlin, Diana; Ross, David; Smit, Jac; Stephens, Carolyn: The Environment for Children. UNICEF, Earthscan Publications Ltd., London, 1–32, 33–72, 73–107. 1996.Google Scholar
- Udo, R.K.: Geographical Regions of Nigeria. Heinemann, London, 15–17 (1970).Google Scholar