Coronavirus fears over children in northern Nigeria

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Discussion posted by: Arye ben-Shaoul

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, there is no evidence of any special attention, either by Nigeria’s federal or state governments, to the plight of the Almajirai children. Almajiri (plural Almajirai) is a system of Islamic education that requires children to be sent away from their homes to study the Quran. It is mainly practiced in northern Nigeria. With no place to call home — they survive by begging in the streets — a practice that has put them at a high risk of contracting the coronavirus. A’ishatu Muhammad Alhassan, a children rights activist in Niger State, is worried about the children, who, according to a UNICEF report, make up about 9.5 million of Nigeria’s population.