First Lady calls for strategic partnership to improve childcare

Accra- The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has called for strategic partnerships between the private and public sectors to help improve the lives of children in the country.

She said strategic partnerships provide opportunities to access a broad range of resources and expertise as well as provide competitive advantage in a world that has increasingly become competition.

The First Lady made the call at the Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM) of the Paediatric Society of Ghana (PSG) in Accra.

Mrs Akufo-Addo said strategic partnership was important in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 3.

“This will provide access to additional resources and enable us to reach more children as well as generate new ideas which will allow us to venture into unexplored terrain,” she said.

Building partnerships also makes us stronger as we combine to strengthen weak elements in the chain and contribute to the robustness of the strategy that eventually will benefit children in Ghana, she added.

The First Lady said after observing the many interventions, policies and conventions to promote the well-being of children all over the world, particularly, regarding their vulnerability, health and well-being, she was of the view that building strategic partnerships was the way to go.

She said ever since the rollout of the SDGs, the need for stronger partnerships had become even more pertinent to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age by 2030.

Dr Mrunal Shetye, the Chief of Health and Nutrition, UNICEF, said although Ghana’s child health indicators in antenatal care and complementary feeding had improved over the years, there was still more to be done to reduce the country’s infant and neonatal deaths.

He said the rates of maternal, under five, infant and neonatal mortalities in the country were not impressive, saying, Although the country seemed to be doing well on the ground, the statistics were not reflective of overall coverage.

He called on healthcare practitioners to collaborate more with stakeholders by engaging with one another as a means to achieve the desired changes needed in childcare in the country.

Dr John Adabie Appiah, the President of the PSG, in his welcome address said newborns, children and adolescents in the country were faced with a myriad of health challenges which must be addressed holistically.

He said although the country made serious attempts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it could not and this was why all efforts must be expended to achieve the current SDG targets.

The PSG honoured the First Lady with a citation for her continuous effort in ensuring quality child health in the country.

It also conferred an honorary membership of the PSG on her.

The World Health Organization (WHO) together with other stakeholders pledged their support to the Society to ensure that Ghana achieves the SDG target by 2030.

Source: Ghana News Agency