Papà, Dad, Père, Pai, Baba, Embo, Fa, Abba, Aabe, Aabba, Abo.
These are just some of the words used to call dads in Africa.
Fathers are often marginal figures in this continent, as parental responsibilities are mainly a duty of women. Anyhow, their active role in the family is essential for the health of children. Singi is Richard’s father and is an example of how the involvement of fathers in the family can make a difference.
Singi and his family live in the Simiyu region, Tanzania. The case of little Richard was reported by community health workers during a home visit in which they noticed that the child was very weak, unable to walk and under-weight. They suggested to bring him to the nearest dispensary in order to start a treatment for malnutrition.
The father immediately took charge of the situation and took him to the dispensary.
“After only two weeks Richard started gaining weight, walking and eating on his own and after four weeks he was discharged. I kept following the advices I received from the health workers and once at home we tried to provide our son with a balanced diet” says Singi.
Singi participated in the cooking demonstrations to understand how to use the food he could afford in order to support his son’s growth and development.
“I am very happy and grateful to the health community workers for giving me the opportunity to take care of my child to the fullest. Now I am committed to sharing my experience with the community and above all to the other fathers because I want to encourage them to be attentive to the health of their children”.
On Father’s Day we want to remember the many fathers we meet every day on our work in Africa; doctors, nurses, community workers and drivers who work in our projects, but our thought also goes to all the fathers of the children we meet in the hospitals and health centers we support.