"Over 200 children tested positive to coronavirus out of the first 4000 earlier cases recorded in Ghana with 2 deaths and 1 in critical condition. Ghana currently has the highest number of confirmed cases of covid-19 in West Africa. This major concern was the fact that a lot of these children are asymptomatic to covid-19 and the issue of infections is a course for worry," according to the Executive Director of Child Rights International Mr. Bright Appiah.
As Covid-19 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 as the world class NGO observed this year’s Day of the African child in Ghana.
The science surrounding Covid-19 shows symptoms is similar to common childhood ailments like malaria and sickle cell anaemia and unless they are tested, the status of our 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 round table discussion at the Labadi Beach Hotel to deliberate on the impact of Covid-19 on Ghanaian children.
Madam Anna Nabere, the girls’ advocacy manager of Plan International Ghana shared light on the plight of Ghanaian children in the midst 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 the 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 session owing to deceit by men. Rape, defilement, transactional sex have been on the rise and these developments are negatively affecting the very existence of innocent children.
Nana Frimpomaa, the 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 street and sadly just a few use the face mask let alone observe the hygiene protocols. These are hungry children most of who have no home, no security, no family and no life, indicating that "until we holistically engage these kids, the fight against covid-19 risk failing."
Speaking on government intervention towards children, Mr 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 PPEs 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, Ms Ophelia Awinboma Azure applauded Plan International for its selfless effort in protecting, providing and promoting children in Ghana. She said millions of Ghana children have critical issues made worse by the pandemic and the earlier we take responsible actions, the better for the future of Ghana.
The live discussion was moderated by Nana Odoi Gyampoh. The program attracted a lot of media houses who interviewed panelists after the session.