Mrs Esenam Kavi De Souza, the Associate Country Director of Children Believe, a child-focus Non-Governmental Organisation, has called on parents to be responsive to the health needs of children.
She urged parents to ensure that children received the right immunisation at the appropriate ages and enrolled into kindergarten by age four, so that by age six, they would be ready for primary school.
The objectives and focus of Children Believe was to see every child achieve his or her full potential, she said, adding: “This means the child should have a voice and opportunities and should be able to utilise these opportunities.”
“It is against this background that over the last five years, we have decided to focus on early childhood development because we believe it is important to start right.”
Mrs De Souza made the call at a ceremony to handover a newly constructed Child Welfare Centre to the chiefs and people of the Achan-yeri and Jaata communities in the Builsa North Municipality of the Upper East Region.
The Centre, funded by Children Believe, was constructed by the Participatory Action for Rural Development Alternatives (PARDA), an NGO, at an estimated cost of GHȻ149,760.000.
Children aged five years and below and their mothers from the two communities could benefit from the centre.
Mrs De Souza noted that without the right foundation for children, every other investment would not yield the desired results.
Child Believe’s interventions were focused on improvement in health and nutrition, promotion of responsive care, safety and security of children, protection and provision of opportunities for early learning.
“Our focus has been on children within the ages of zero to two years,” Mrs De Souza said, and emphasised the need to get the foundation right to propel further development of children and called on community members to make good use of the Centre.
Dr Michael Wombeogo, the Executive Director of PARDA, said the project was part of the Builsa-Kassena Area Child Development Partnership programme between Child Believe (CB) and PARDA.
The Centre, constructed within the 2023 Financial Year, was the first of its kind in the Builsa North Municipality after a similar one was constructed at Adognia in the Kassena-Nankana West District, he said.
Dr Wombeogo said PARDA was happy to collaborate with CB Ghana for the provision of quality health care for children below five years.
PARDA also provided ‘Learning Through Play’ manuals for the Centre and trains health professionals on how to utilise the manuals to educate mothers on child welfare issues.
The Chief of Achan-yeri, Nab Gariba Ayerebey Apasugbey, on behalf of the two communities, commended PARDA and CB for the gesture, and appealed to the Government to extend electricity to the communities to enable health professionals to stay and work.