Some 250 million children under five years of age living in low and middle income countries are at risk of not achieving their development potential.
In Ghana, more than one quarter of children aged between 36-59 months are behind in the domains of language, cognitive, physical and socio-emotional development.
However, many parents and caregivers lack adequate knowledge on how to stimulate their children’s development.
More worrying is the fact that compounding gaps in early childhood development exposes children in Ghana to significant nutritional deficiencies.
To date, there has been an absence of early stimulation of information in maternal and child health guidelines and parenting sessions.
It is against this backdrop that stakeholders have called for strategic partnerships across sectors to better support holistic early childhood development.
Addressing the media at the national launch of a maternal and child survival programme in Accra, Deputy Director of the Reproductive & Child Health Unit of the Family Health Division, at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses lamented the gaps existing in the health sector.
“With improved access to early child development information and targeted training, caregivers or parents can develop skills to become effective providers of nurturing care.”
At the ceremony, stakeholders raised concerns about the need to rope in the urban communities in the bid to create more awareness on early childhood development, instead of just focusing on rural areas.
The overall goal of the maternal and child survival programme (MCSP) is to increase caregiver knowledge of early stimulation as well as to leverage frontline health workers to promote and practice early stimulation techniques at the community level.
It is also aimed at facilitating further discussion on how best to implement the Nurturing Care Framework in Ghana and also build and accelerate the momentum for 0-3 early child development programming.
Source: 3news.com| Ghana