The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ghana has donated various sanitary items and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for onward distribution to care homes, junior correction facilities and remand homes in support of the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
They include 81,250 face or nose masks, 162,500 gloves, 1,625 hand sanitisers, 150 contact digital thermometres, 150 Veronica buckets with stands, 2,000 gallons of liquid soap, 10,000 rolls of hand tissue, 500 gallons of bleach and 5,000 posters with COVID-19 preventive messages.
The beneficiaries are the Department of Social Welfare, Osu Children’s Home, Chance for children, Kinder Paradise, Nyame Dua Children’s Home, Osu Remand/Correctional Homes, among others.
At a presentation ceremony in Accra yesterday, UNICEF Ghana Representative, Anne-Claire Dufay, commended Ghana for its relentless efforts to curtail the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable children and families.
She noted that the PPEs and hygiene items as well as posters were to protect the frontline workers, including social workers who provide essential services to vulnerable children and families.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of all staff engaged in the COVID-19 response is a shared responsibility. Frontline workers including social workers continue to operate in new ways, amidst uncertainty, to protect children and women,” she added.
The COVID-19 crisis, she said, also poses child rights crisis with children, young people and women already affected by poverty, disability and social exclusion facing considerable knock-on impact such as violence, sexual abuse, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, lack of access to critical services, separation from care-givers, among others.
According to Madam Dufay, the impact required concerted efforts to ensure the protection of children from the virus as well as case management and psychological support.
In this regard, UNICEF would continue to promote family based-care, re-unification of children and ensure that vulnerable children who were still separated from their care-givers remain healthy and protected from the virus, she stated.
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Mamle Morrison, expressed gratitude to UNICEF for the donation, adding that “the fight against this disease can be won if we all worked together.”
She said the government would continue to partner all stakeholders to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable people in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry, she stated, would ensure quick and effective distribution of the items and PPE to all the identified beneficiaries to help stop the spread of the disease.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS