Accra, Holiday Inn Hotel — On June 13, 2018, Her Excellency, Samira Bawumia launched Ghana’s Nurturing Care Framework for Early Child Development. The event was convened by the Ministry of Health, with support from USAID, UNICEF and WHO. The Framework provides an evidence-based roadmap for action, and outlines how policies and services can support parents, families, other caregivers and communities in providing nurturing care for young children. Ghana officially endorsed the Nurturing Care Framework at the World Health Assembly on May 23, 2018.
To reach their full potential, children require good health, adequate nutrition, safety and security, responsive caregiving, and opportunities for learning. This is particularly important for infants to toddlers, as this age range is a critical period to influence a child’s development, health, and well-being. Early childhood development supports young children’s holistic development across physical, cognitive, language, and socio-emotional domains spanning the prenatal stage to early grades. Early experiences and the environments in which children develop in their first 1,000 days have a lasting impact on brain development and child well-being.
U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Melinda Tabler-Stone attended the event. USAID/Ghana’s Resiliency and Social Protection Advisor, Jacqueline Bony, participated in a panel discussion with other development partners, including UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, JICA, and the World Bank. She commended the Government of Ghana’s engagement in early childhood development efforts, and discussed USAID’s collaboration with development partners to support the Government’s initiative. “Early childhood development requires a multi-sectoral approach- including the areas of health and nutrition, social protection, education, and water, sanitation and hygiene.” Ms. Bony urged all stakeholders to keep the momentum going, stating that “investing in early childhood is not only a humane decision, but it is also an economic necessity.”
USAID provides support to the Government of Ghana, through the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MSCP) Early Childhood Development. The program supports the implementation of early childhood development interventions by leveraging existing country-level health and nutrition activities to promote early stimulation, and improved interaction between parents, caregivers and young children in select districts of the Eastern and Upper West Regions. As of February 2018, the program supported the alignment of global early childhood development materials to the Ghanaian context; conducted a training of trainers on the use of the materials for 34 national, regional and district staff from Upper West and Eastern regions of Ghana; and conducted trainings for Community Health Officers and Volunteers who have the mandate of educating parents and other caregivers to engage in early stimulation activities with their children 0-3 years. MCSP is currently working on a Call to Action paper to better engage and coordinate early childhood development activities across stakeholders in Ghana; as well as a media campaign to raise awareness on early childhood development.