Parents and guardians have been advised to ensure that issues of children are prioritized to safeguard their holistic development.
“No child should be deprived of basic education, access to quality health care, clothing and shelter because the unavailability of these could mar their future,” Dr. Adoma Odame, member of the Ashanti Regional Child Protection Committee has said.
She said some parents through their religion and cultural beliefs deny their wards of some health care benefits, citing refusal by guardians to accept referrals of sick children to other facilities for medical attention as one common issue many hospitals had to contend with.
She mentioned that children had the right to health care and urged such parents not to endanger the lives of their children with their religious beliefs but rather cooperate with health officials and put a premium on the lives and well-being of children.
Dr Odame was presenting a paper at an Ashanti Regional Child Protection Committee Meeting in Kumasi.
The meeting was put together by the Department of Children under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP).
Topics discussed at the meeting included the plight of children with special needs in school placement, integrated social services monitoring by Social Welfare, and parents’ refusal to cooperate on referrals of children for further treatment among others.
Dr. Odame, who is also a senior Specialist Paediatrician at the HopeXchange Medical Center, on children with disabilities said there must be concerted efforts to care for children with disabilities, adding that, “most of them possessed unique talents” that could be nurtured for societal benefits.
She used the occasion to call on health workers to periodically organize seminars for parents with disabled children to deepen their knowledge on caring for such kids.
Madam Aba Oppong, a Child Rights Activist and Member of the Committee, said there were various programmes underway to empower girls and young women on protecting their fundamental human rights.
She said when children, especially girls, were exposed to their basic rights, it would engender them to be confident, self-reliant and be able to take up leadership positions.