The Centre for Learning and Childhood Development, a research-based organisation, has supported 65 families of children with cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, with food items as part of efforts to cushion them against the Covid-19 crisis.

The Centre also supported 81 day-care centre teachers and their families with relief items, Mr Prince Gyebi, Programmes Officer of CLCD, told the Ghana News Agency.

He said families of children with developmental disabilities were a socially vulnerable group because of the persistent stigma and discrimination and high unemployment rate they faced.

Although a number of such families were self-reliant, he said, the pandemic had disrupted access to their social and financial resources.

Mr Gyebi said his organization collaborated with the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on Cerebral palsy issues and other parents support groups, to identify the families that needed help.

He said while teachers were typically not a vulnerable group, day-care centre teachers had faced unprecedented economic hardship, particularly those in the private sector.

“Because of the pandemic, some teachers have not received their salary since March of 2020,” he said. “Others who rely on school lunches to supplement their nutrition no longer have access.

“These effects have increased food-insecurity amongst them. Their needs have received less attention in the media and government efforts.

“Our goal was not only to support them but also to highlight the challenges they face and advocate for comprehensive economic support for them.”

He said the rise in Coronavirus cases and the public health measures implemented to suppress its rise had had significant indirect impacts on children and their families.

“Food insecurity is one of the immediate effects of these adverse social outcomes. As the pandemic in other countries has shown, food insecurity affects vulnerable populations disproportionately,” Mr Gyebi added.


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