Shaken baby syndrome ‘is child abuse’

(Courtesy image)
Updated 27 June 2016

Shaken baby syndrome ‘is child abuse’

ABHA: On average, between 200 and 300 cases of violence are recorded annually against infants and children in Saudi Arabia.
This was revealed by Maha Al-Muneef, executive director of the National Family Safety program. According to her, shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is one of the forms of abuses that happens with infants under the age of two when they are held by the arm or under the arm, shaken violently and then thrown on the ground or on a bed.
This results in three possible physical injuries. The first is bleeding in the brain due to moving the head rapidly back and forth which causes the brain to move inside the skull and which may rupture blood vessels that feed the brain. Second, internal bleeding in the eye socket because of the intense movement of shaking the baby’s head back and forth. Third, the presence of fractures in the rib cage due to the way one holds the child under his or her arms.
She pointed out that there are cases of breathing difficulty due to SBS which has not been diagnosed. She stressed that there is not enough information in Saudi society about the seriousness of the matter as a result of intense and violent shaking. She said it is necessary to educate pediatricians about the syndrome and how to diagnose it early in order to protect children from the consequences.
She indicated that the consequences can be disastrous for the child, and can in some cases lead to brain death, vision loss or mental disability.
Al-Muneef mentioned the National Family Safety Program’s role through its “Don’t Shake Me” campaign which was implemented in National Guard hospitals. In this program, social medical teams educate mothers about this syndrome, which in turn every mother conveys to the father and those who take care of the child.
Concerning the causes of violent shaking, Al-Muneef explained that these are related to the child’s continued crying as a result of colic, especially in the first months after birth, or illness and disability that requires extra care from the parents. These reasons should be communicated to parents who may be young, lack experience and be short-tempered.
Other reasons for the occurrence of violence against children may be poverty, unemployment, addiction, society’s weak culture and the lack of enforcement of laws and deterrent punishment against violators.
Although the SBS is child abuse, the syndrome, unfortunately, is not generally accepted or recognized by health professionals or parents.
Al-Muneef emphasized the Ministry of Health’s efforts to present the “Don’t Shake Me” campaign and all its elements in the coming months to all the ministry’s hospitals in order to spread awareness among mothers and families.
She said that similar projects had proved their worth in other countries where the frequency of violence against children had been significantly reduced.
These programs are usually presented in hospitals to explain the preventive methods of violent head injuries, and teach the mother how to deal with crying babies.
Al-Muneef added that the campaign is presented by the National Family Safety Program as a proposal to raise awareness among mothers of the importance of fighting SBS in a competition conducted by the King Khalid Foundation. The program won the best proposal and work plan for a national development project and was financially supported by the King Khalid Foundation in September 2011.
Through the awareness lectures, more than 6,000 mothers have been educated about SBS during this campaign.

GEA and Misk launch ‘Entertainment Pioneers’ program

Updated 26 June 2019

GEA and Misk launch ‘Entertainment Pioneers’ program

RIYADH: The General Authority for Entertainment (GEA) launched its “Entertainment Pioneers” program, in partnership with the Initiatives Center at the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (Misk).

The program aims to prepare citizens, and especially fresh graduates, to work with the most renowned international companies in the field of entertainment, to gain experience, develop their skills in the field, and enable them to integrate this sector and contribute to its development and prosperity.

The program is part of GEA’s strategy to develop the sector of entertainment in accordance with the best international standards, and to provide it with qualified national competencies in this field, to meet the objectives of the Quality of Life program, a basic part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The first stage of the program will kick off in collaboration with a leading American entertainment company that employs 44,000 people worldwide, and that has a record of more than 30,000 entertainment programs and 100 festivals, with its sales surpassing of 500 million tickets per year.

In addition, various international companies are participating in the event, in order to train Saudis in the tasks of planning, organization and management of entertainment programs and projects.

As part of its plans to develop and increase the size of local content in the entertainment sector, GEA is launching several other initiatives to train Saudi cadres develop their skills, and to integrate the job market especially in small and medium enterprises in the field of entertainment.

For registration a webpage was set on the link: