Residents of Anambra state in Nigeria’s south-east region have been advised to be conscious of paedophiles in their communities.

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A paediatrician Dr George Enechebe, who works with the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, gave the advice while speaking with newsmen on the increase in paedophiles in the state.

Paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult experiences exclusive sexual attraction to children or has a carnal knowledge of children.

And there have been reports of it in the state and its environs. One of such reports was the case involving a 35-year-old prophet, with Jesus Miracle Ministry, Ifite-Awka, who was arrested for allegedly defiling a 13-year-old boy after a vigil.

Another case in the state was that of an eleven-year-old girl who was raped by her elderly neighbour.

The paediatrician confirmed that he treated no fewer than two paedophile cases every month.

Dr Enechebe reckoned that paedophilia was alien to Nigerian culture, while calling for cohesive effort towards stopping the act.

He said, “Victims of paedophiles come with bruises and bleeding from their private parts, having psychological trauma and, most times, contract infections.

“It is expedient for parents and guardians of younger children to be aware of this social ill and protect their children and wards carefully.

“They should monitor their movements and know the people they leave their wards with.”

The medical doctor then encouraged parents to immediately report any of such act to the nearest police station and take the victims to hospital for medial check-up.

In a similar vein, Dr Lawrence Ikeakor, Chief Medical Officer at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, noted that paedophilia was an aberration and a psychological problem.

Dr Ikeakor said it had a psychological impact on the affected children, adding that victims, most times, fount it difficult to recover from it.

Okafor then advised parents to be careful of the custody of their wards, advising that necessary action should be taken instantly in case anything happened.

Governor’s aid confirms increase

An aide to Governor Willy Obiano of Anambra state, Mrs Pat Offiah, said that cases of paedophilia were on the increase, adding that government would deal with any offender caught.

He said, “The government will punish any confirmed offender to serve as a deterrent to others.

“Let the public know that it is not a socially acceptable act in the state.”

Educationists speak on the issue

A school proprietor, Mrs Chinwe Anunobi, blamed cases of paedophilia on parents who neglected their primary assignment of taking care of their children for material gains.

Another educationist, Mrs Sharon Mmaduabuchi, said the issue of child sexual abuse was rampant in the state, citing a case of a two-year-old girl who was raped by her uncle.

Mnaduabuchi advised mothers to be alert in order to prevent reoccurrence.