…As Plan International Ghana Dialogue its Impact on Ghanaian Children
Over 200 children have tested positive to corona virus out of the first 4000 cases recorded in Ghana. Two have died and one is in critical condition. Ghana currently has the highest number of confirmed cases of covid-19 in the West African sub region. This has become a major concern to many considering the fact that a lot of these children are asymptomatic to covid-19, according to the Executive Director of Child Rights International – Bright Appiah.
As the pandemic ravages the world indiscriminately, Plan international Ghana says the disease posses a unique challenge to millions of African Children and Ghana is no exception. This came to light recently when the NGO observed this year’s day of the African child in Ghana.
The science surrounding Covid-19 shows symptoms similar to common child ailments like malaria and sickle cell anemia and unless they are tested, the status of children children will never the known. As an NGO committed to providing safe and protective environment where children can operate especially during this critical times, Plan International Ghana has engaged stakeholders on a round table discussion at the Labadi Beach Hotel to deliberate on the impact of Covid-19 on Ghanaian children.
Madam Anna Nabere, girls’ advocacy manager at Plan International Ghana threw light on the plight of Ghanaian children in the mist of covid-19. She said her outfit has launched series of programs that seek to promote, protect and provide children with their basic needs and if care is not taken, the devastating effects of Covid-19 will erase all these humble gains. She added that Plan International Ghana has supported the Ministry of Health to provide free antenatal care to will-be mothers. On education, Madam Anna said a lot of girls have been supported to go back to school before the pandemic but sadly some of these girls risk becoming pregnant during the covid-19 session owing to deceit by men. “Rape, Defilement, Transactional Sex have been on the increase and these developments are negatively affecting the very existence of innocent children,” she stated.
Nana Frimpomaa, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Caring Kids International, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and former Vice Presidential Candidate of the CPP called for concerted effort from all stakeholders towards the safety and protection of Ghanaian children. She said there are too many children on the streets and sadly just a few use the face mask, let alone observe the hygiene protocols. “These are hungry children most of whom have no home, no security, no family and no life, she said until we holistically engage these kids, the fight against covid-19 risk failing,” she noted.
Speaking on government intervention towards children, Samuel Anaglate, the head of Foster Care at the Social Welfare Department mentioned that his outfit has provided hot meals to children in these foster homes to sustain lives. They have also provided PPE for use by these children and enhanced education on sanitation and hygiene to reduce the risk of infection.
The programs officer of International Needs Network Elikem Awuye on her part touched on the economic, health, education, social and protective effect of covid-19 on Ghanaian children. She said her outfit has provided dignity kits to over 7000 girls in their program areas and called for more collaboration to ease the pressure on girls.
The CEO of Public Health Development Initiative, Ophelia Awinboma Azure, applauded Plan International for its selfless efforts in protecting, providing and promoting children in Ghana. She said millions of children in Ghana have critical issues made worse by the pandemic and the earlier we take responsible actions, the better for the future of Ghana.
The lively discussion moderated by Nana Odoi Gyampoh, an experienced.
By: Kweku B. Bolton