It all began with a Press briefing on the 29th April 2010, the theme? ‘Men on Board for Healthier Children’ very interesting, Why? Men are hardly seen performing ‘Motherly roles’ esp. In Africa. Partnering to drive the week to a successful end were the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, USAID, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization (WHO). The CHPW was first launched and started in 2004, Aimed at helping achieve MDG 4 by Vaccinating all under age 5, combating malaria and other childhood-killer diseases, tackling Improper sanitation, not forgetting registering all unregistered children, ALL FOR FREE! Recorders picked sound bits, Inks and Pens just couldn’t wait to write, Cameras? Not left out, ready to take shots of every move. We were set to go.
Dr. Isabella Sagoe-Moses, the National Child Health Cordinator raised salient issues, Children Under 5 years are vulnerable to illness and death. Ghana indeed is making headway in goal 4 of the MDG’s. Under 5 mortality has decreased over the years: recording 155 deaths in 1985, 119 deaths in 1990, 108 deaths in 1995, 111 deaths in 2000, and currently stands at 80 deaths per 1000 live births, much still needs to be done. Some cultural beliefs and harmful practices still stand in MDG 4’s way e.g. many children and expectant mothers in some parts of Ghana don’t eat certain foods containing vital nutrients for growth and development of babies and children, the egg and many more, (we shall explore this matter in another interesting blog!). Key Interventions: Improving health service delivery, malaria control through distribution of Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITN), Creating awareness on the CHPW and Integrating Maternal & Child health Programmes and projects, Birth registration. Thanks to such inputs, Ghana has not recorded deaths for Measles since 2002, No wild cases for Polio between 2003 and 2008, Malaria will soon be history if Proper sanitation is maintained and early treatment sought. It was sad to hear that most of these Interventions hardly reach all targeted population, esp. folks in the rural setting. I believe it must reach everyone everywhere, when it’s done we are assured of healthier kids and Mums in every part of Ghana!
Mr. Kweku Amoah, Registrar-Births and Deaths Registry made it known to all and sundry that registration at birth is a fundamental right. Surprisingly half of Ghana’s children are not registered at birth, retarding the Nations development, how? being Unregistered means one has no Nationality, secondly, Ghana can’t plan for that individual since he/she isn’t recognized e.g. if out of 500 births only 250 are registered, the unregistered will over pressurized amenities since 4 hospitals have been built to serve 250 people only.
Psalm Adjetey-Fio (Renowned Ghanaian Actor of Taxi Driver fame as TT), was present and said “Yes” for Ghanaian fathers, and promised to assist make the week a splendid one. He shared a Personal experience, how he responded to the ‘Fatherly Call’ at an early stage in his life whiles in college, he had to see to it that his ‘wife’ and child were safe. TT certainly deserves a thumb up for a good job done! He advised Nurses to put in their best, for they play an important role in making the Mother and baby happy during their stay at the Hospital.
Now, on the theme, so ideal! Men are wanted aboard because: they are Key decision makers of the home, for the Nation, households and communities, Men can save money when their children are healthy since many homes are financed by men, and an unhealthy family is a slur to the father-head of the home. You know men love Soccer so much, it’s one of the things incorporated into the week to attract men, the rest are Quizzes and other fun games… Women who get to Health Centre’s without their Husbands will have a lot to answer to Nurses at Service delivery points.