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Stop exploiting children with special health conditions – Policy Analyst

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Children With Special Needs

Dr. Joseph Nii Ofoe Dodoo, a policy analyst at the Ministry of Health, has called for a multi-sectoral approach to prevent the exploitation of children with special health conditions on the streets of Accra.

He stressed the need to educate those who use children with special health conditions to solicit funds on the streets that some of those conditions could be covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

“This is an economic, social, cultural, and health issue and all must join hands in addressing it and ensure that such children are given the needed medical care,” he stated.

Dr Dodoo made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a multi-stakeholder stocktaking and momentum-building Forum on Universal Health Coverage (UCH)

The forum is on the theme: ‘UHC; Moving Together to Build a Healthier Ghana.’

The meeting was to examine Ghana’s progress on the UHC roadmap, the political declaration, and the links between gender and national UHC strategies in the country.

There has been an increase in the exploitation of children with distinct health conditions on some major streets in Accra.

Some places where the GNA spotted some of these children include Kasoa, Awoshie, Lapaz, Kaneshie First Light, and Ashaiman traffic lights.

The children are positioned at strategic locations, often near traffic lights, by their “guardians” to draw empathy from commuters and raise funds for treatment.

Dr Dodoo said the conduct was flourishing in some parts of Accra because no legislation in Ghana prohibits fundraising, which the ‘guardians’ of the children use to appeal to sympathizing Ghanaians.

He said the situation should be discouraged because some of the children’s health concerns could be addressed by the NHIS.

“Although I have a feeling that those who bring the children on the street are leveraging the nature of Ghanaians into taking money from them. Those who give should therefore follow up on the child before giving.”

He asked those who offered money to such people to, at the very least, know which hospital the children were being treated at and which groups were sponsoring the child.

 

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