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Parents urged on mental health as 2nd Baby and Kids Expo launches

Baby and Kids Expo launch

Baby and Kids Expo launch

Safeguarding parenting and family values would be such a short-term and long-term fix to many emerging societal challenges and breakdowns, Martin Kiiza, executive director of the National Children’s Authority (NCA) has said.

While launching the second edition of the Baby and Kids Expo at Kati Kati Bar and Restaurant last week where he presided as chief guest, Kiiza said it is imperative to guard the family jealously because it is the foundation of human progress and wrongful parenting easily leads to violence, child neglect, and abandonment, among other issues in society.

"This means we need to fully appreciate the child as a holistic human being and protect that child. We shouldn’t take the family for granted,” Kiiza stressed that everything begins in the family and that it should be respected as the foundation for human progress.

According to Joweria Nabuuma, managing director of Kiara Events Limited, the organizers of the Baby and Kids Expo, they aim to bring together children, parents, and stakeholders to discuss children’s well-being and development. This year’s expo will run between May 10 and 12, 2024, at the UMA Show Grounds in Kampala.

“This annual event celebrates children’s wellness and joy and focuses on education, innovation, and entertainment and provides a platform for families, experts, and exhibitors to explore the latest trends in parenting, child development, and early childhood education,” Nabuuma said.

“This year, we’re aiming to elevate the experience for our attendees, providing a platform for families to connect, learn, and play together in a way that’s both educational and fun. With an increasing demand for baby and child-related products across the region, the expo also serves as a crucial platform for exhibitors to interact directly with their audience, offering insights and special deals on a plethora of products for babies, kids, and expectant mothers.”

According to Gloria Aminat Aketch, founder of the Mental Health Wellness Project Bora Minds Foundation, stress can have a negative impact on a parent's physical and mental health as they navigate the limitations of the mental health treatment system, making it difficult for them to continue providing care.

Aketch claimed that more parents are experiencing mental health challenges than people realize. She attributes this to the fact that most Ugandans, let alone parents, do not even notice the decline in their mental health until it starts taking a heavy toll on them.

Additionally, mental health care professionals advise that parents should be involved in evidence-based therapies aimed at addressing their child's mental health. This would provide a chance to pay enough attention to the anxiety and stress that the adult caregiver, who in this case is a parent, would exhibit.

Parent-child interaction therapy, for instance, teaches parents how to control their young child's behaviour to avoid the child developing more serious issues in the future. While this (parent-child interaction) may help the child, it doesn’t usually directly support the parent’s health. For the parent to be helped, they would need to be intentional about their mental health situation.

Aketch stated that it becomes more difficult for parents to stop their child's condition from worsening when their physical and mental health deteriorates. This means that parents should be concerned since they are a child's most valuable resource.

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