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08.12.2009 Health

Child Protection Unit inaugurated at Korle-Bu

By GNA
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Child Protection Unit inaugurated at Korle-Bu
December 07, 2009
Accra, Dec. 7, GNA - The first hospital Child Protection Unit was on Monday launched at the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital to provide psychological and emotional support for abused children.

The centre will also serve as an academic centre for post-graduate residents of the Ghana College of Physicians and the West Africa College of Physicians.

The centre was made possible by Zain Ghana, a communications service provider, UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Child Health Department of the Hospital and other stakeholders.

Zain Country Manager, Mr Philip Sowah, said the centre became the obvious recipient because health was an important focus of the company's Corporate Social Responsibility and also because of the synergy that existed between the government, UNICEF and Zain in helping the vulnerable.

He said Korle-bu had achieved a great milestone since its establishment in 1923 making constant efforts to improve its healthcare delivery to Ghanaians and beyond the borders of the country, adding that a lot more needed to be done. He gave the assurance that Zain would continue to support the growth of the institution.

The Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, Ms Akua Sena Dansua commended stakeholders, who made the establishment of centre possible and asked corporate organisations to sponsor such worthy causes that would move the nation forward.

She said the Ministry was always ready to provide moral support to distressed people and it was constrained by inadequate resources but it was still committed to give equal attention to women and children.

UNICEF Country Director, Dr Yasmin Ali Hague, said children who were abused became perpetrators themselves or grew to justify abuse and said there was the need to break the silence due to the damage it did to children.

She said there was the need to create a safe haven for children who faced abuse and exploitation and noted that the launch was a great beginning but a lot more needed to be done in psyching these vulnerable children and educating them to say "no" to abuse and exploitation.

The Head of the Centre, Dr Ebenzer Badoe, said statistics from the Centre for Development Studies of the University of Cape Coast indicated that 11.2 per cent of Ghanaian children had been raped or defiled in public schools.

Current figures from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Police Service for the third quarter of 2009 stood 886 as compared 154 in 1999.

The department, he said, had seen a fair number of horrible child abuse cases with Chokor, Mamprobi and Dansoman being hot spots for cases of defilement.

"The unit we are launching today comes dearer than night to a thief. A true haven where justice and true healing can begin," he said.

He lauded the efforts of Zain and UNICEF for their support adding that reversing the psychological damage was a delicate process that required specialist care to ensure that abused children had a chance to normal life.

The Chief Executive Officer of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Professor Nii Otu Nartey and the Board Chairman, Prof. Seth Ayittey, also lauded stakeholders for the centre and said the hospital was ready to partner any organisation which was willing to improve the quality care given to its clients.

GNA

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