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Opinions of Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Columnist: GNA

Triplets, a taboo in some Lawra Communities

A GNA feature by Bajin D. Pobia

Wa, April 26, GNA - Pregnant women in some communities in the Lawra District fervently pray to God to prevent them from conceiving. For, should their prayers go unanswered their otherwise blessings would attract sorrow as one of the babies could be killed. In communities in the Lawra District, giving birth to triplets is a taboo to their ancestral gods.

Triplets are also perceived as jinxed children and it is believed that if one is not killed calamity may befall their father or the family as a whole.

The Upper West Regional Multi-Sectoral Committee on Child Welfare and Protection says any woman who gives birth to triplets is given the options of offering one of them to be killed or having her husband relocated in a different community to escape the 91consequential' calamity.

Mothers of triplets also stand the risk of being banished from the community should they refuse to sacrifice one of their babies. Thus having triplets in these communities is every women's nightmare. The Committee says it encountered two women at the Lawra Orphanage who had refused to allow any of their triplets killed and had, therefore, sought refuge at the orphanage.

The Methodist Church is taking care of these women and their triplets and they are so happy that that their children are all alive in spite of their banishment from their communities.

The women say though the triplets are now grown they cannot reunite with their husbands and other family members because they risk being killed.

They have consequently appealed to the government, traditional rulers and children welfare non-governmental organisations to intervene to have those beliefs and practices abolished. The Committee is on tour to orphanages and illegal mining areas in the region to have a first hand information about the conditions and challenges facing children in those areas and how they are coping up with their challenges.