Though the sight of a mentally ill pregnant woman on the street is not an entirely strange thing, it still evokes sympathy for her and loathing for the man that descended to the level of sexually abusing an insane woman.
Therefore the story of a mentally ill young woman who gave birth in Kaduna recently evokes the same emotions and more. The young woman gave birth around 9.00 a.m. in a bus stop near Federal Secretariat, Kaduna.
According to the story, (Daily Trust January 31, 2013) the incident brought to three the number of times mentally ill women gave birth at the same bus stop in recent times.
The pathetic thing is that this young woman gave birth alone, that it was the cry of the baby that attracted passersby.
Men who sleep with mentally ill women are said to do so for ritual purpose, such as to become wealthy. In other words, for worldly gains these men have agreed to perform a sin deliberately and in so doing, with somebody vulnerable that ought to be protected against all kinds of abuse.
How such a man can enjoy his riches knowing the atrocities he committed beats my imagination.
Some may claim that they didn't know the women would become pregnant, but there is always the possibility, and if only the children would haunt them for life.
These victims of greedy and heartless men are made to go through pregnancy without support and ante natal care. And then made to undergo labour and give birth in the open.
However, the families of these mentally ill women should also share the blame for allowing them to not only roam the street, but also living there. Though in some cases, for one reason or the other the women leave their homes and move to other places, where nobody knows them.
But with proper monitoring, if they are kept at home under watch, no man can have access to them to perpetrate his evil agenda.
Though there are psychiatric hospitals, if the patient gets better he is released. So you can hardly find a sort of Home to confine such mentally ill people to get them off the street, and ease the pressure on their families.
This is because some of the patients may have been orphans and the relatives taking care of them may not have been keen.
Besides, even where some live with their parents it may still be difficult for them to take care of the mentally ill, so the government should make provision to take care of them.
Before then however, the ministry in charge of welfare should be made to be scouting around for such vulnerable women and take them under its care. They should also make it known that people should report if they find a mentally ill woman living in the street and even sleeping there.
These women need love, care and protection. They are not aliens, besides leaving them in the street does say much about our humanity and the government's responsibility to its citizens.
And for the men that indulge in sleeping with the mentally ill women for whatever reason, Allah Ya shiryesu.(May God make them repent).