Zimbo parents’ cruel acts for benefits

Father holds young crying son

IN a bid to get money gratis, Zimbabwean parents in the UK are abusing their children.
The parents are exploiting the British benefit system.
The British Government assists parents of sick or disabled children with funds.
Most families here get more money from benefits than from working. And this ‘free’ money has made a lot of Zimbabwean parents parasites who have become fully dependent on the benefit system.
The benefit system encourages laziness as people easily claim benefits for unemployment, disability and children’s sickness. A lot of Zimbabweans have joined the queue of those abusing their children and the system for money.
They feign their children’s illness to make money under what is now referred to as ‘fabricated or induced illness’ (FII).  
Fabricated or induced illness is a form of child abuse. It occurs when a parent or carer, usually the child’s biological mother or father, exaggerates or deliberately causes symptoms of illness in the child.
FII is also known as ‘Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy’ (not to be confused with ‘Munchausen’s syndrome’, where a person pretends to be ill or causes illness or injury to the self).
FII covers a wide range of symptoms and behaviours which range from extreme neglect (failing to seek medical care) to induced illness.
Behaviours in FII include a mother or other carer:
l persuading healthcare professionals that his/her child is ill when he/she is perfectly healthy
l exaggerating or lying about a child’s symptoms
l exaggerating manipulating test results to suggest the presence of illness – for example, by putting glucose in urine samples to suggest the child has diabetes.
l exaggerating deliberately inducing symptoms of illness – for example, by poisoning his/her child with unnecessary medication or other substances. 
These cases have become widespread but many cases are going unreported or undetected.
One study published in 2000 estimated 89 cases of FII in a population of 100 000 over a two-year period.
However, it’s likely that this figure underestimates the actual number of FII cases.
In a study on Zimbabwean families, 10 percent of the interviewed have made their children sick or exaggerated the level of sickness so that they maximise the benefits they get. 
FII can involve children of all ages, but the most severe cases are usually associated with children under five. 
In more than 90 percent of reported cases of FII, the child’s mother is responsible for the abuse.
However, there have been cases where the father, foster parent, grandparent, guardian or a healthcare or childcare professional was responsible.
A large number of Zimbabwean mothers involved in FII have borderline personality disorders characterised by emotional instability, impulsiveness and disturbed thinking. The lengths to which some of our compatriots are going to get money without working for it are shameful.
Some have divorced so that they can make more money as single parents.
A Zimbabwean woman from south London was jailed for fraud and child abuse after causing her children to undergo surgery for fictitious medical problems.
Croydon Crown Court heard that the mother of six, who cannot be named for legal reasons, displayed tendencies towards FII. She persuaded doctors to prescribe copious medication and provide equipment for her children worth more than £145 000, which — as they did not require it — was potentially dangerous for them, the prosecution said.
She also convinced them to perform invasive operations and insert feeding tubes into her son and daughter’s stomachs.
Part of the problem was the number of health referrals that reduced the chance of any single medic’s suspicions being raised.
Dr Eveline Knight-Jones, who prepared the paediatric overview for the court case, said: “In London it is all too easy for fabricated illness cases to attend several different hospitals some distance from their local hospital, because there are so many hospitals, particularly specialist hospitals.”
The defence claimed the mother suffered from a severe anxiety disorder herself, which caused her to ‘catastrophise’ and overstate her children’s medical symptoms.
Management of their health condition was heavily based on the mother’s description of their symptoms, which “…appeared believable and persuasive”, although the children were rarely seen to be unwell at the clinics, the Crown added.
The mother was also ‘resistant’ to any attempts to investigate the causes of the alleged symptoms. For example, she refused to allow one child to be admitted to hospital for a two-week review, the prosecution said.
“There are certain conditions that can leave a child coping very well in between episodes, and unless they happen to feel unwell at the time they are presented to you, there is no way of reproducing that condition, which makes it very hard to prove or disprove either way (sic),” consultant paediatrician Dr Paul Davis told BBC News.
“One thing you might do if you had suspicions of that nature is try to get the child admitted to hospital for a longer period of observation. But even then, without someone constantly watching that patient, you can’t rule out that a parent at their bedside might be interfering with their results (sic)” he said.
Dr Knight-Jones said what made this case particularly difficult was that the children, in her opinion, had real illnesses at the start, but nothing that would cause them permanent ill-health.
Our legacy of being loving and humane parents is being soiled by these lazy parents.


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