Bright Appiah, Executive Director, CRI
GOVERNMENT HAS been called upon to institute health programmes to boost the immune system of children against Covid-19 now that most of them are at home.
They suggested the introduction of proper nutrition systems to ensure children had a balanced diet, good personal/environment hygiene practices and physical activity as soon as practicable.
The call follows outcomes from a recent survey conducted by Child Rights International (CRI) on ‘Covid-19: State of Children in Ghana’ which recommended a step up in the campaign to make children understand the importance of adherence to protocols for the prevention of the virus.
Bright Appiah, Executive Director of CRI, speaking at the launch of the report yesterday in Accra, advised that “Moving forward, there must be a comprehensive nutritional plan under the school feeding programme in schools on provision of regular information on nutritional values to the general public in order to maintain a strong system against Covid-19 in children.”
This research collected samples from 589 communities, town and cities in addition to nationwide data on Covid-19 provided by the Ghana Health Service (GHS). Secondary data from other sources were included in the research and used both qualitative and quantitative methods to arrive at the conclusion.
Incidence In Children
Making reference to nationwide data, CRI said from March 11 to November 9, 2020, out of 49,202 who contracted the Covid-19 virus, 2,180 were children, representing 4.43% of the total contraction rate in Ghana.
A total of 320 deaths have been recorded out of the 49,202 individuals who contracted the virus and of the 2,180 children who have contracted Covid-19, four deaths have been recorded within the age cohort of 0-14 years.
There was no mortality recorded in children between the ages of 15-17.
The report admitted that children had recorded the lowest admissions in all hospitals and majority of children who contracted the Covid-19 are asymptomatic.
“Whether children between the ages of 0-18 are efficient transmitters of Covid-19 is something that has not been established clinically in Ghana,” they said.
According to Mr. Appiah, “For most children, the use of distance learning solutions has not been effective. Close to 89% say distance learning platforms have not been an effective way for them to learn than traditional class room settings. Interviews of selected children revealed that an overwhelming number were eager to return to school since the alternative of being at home had become agonizing.
“Literacy activities have reduced drastically for these children due to school closure, and access to reading materials have become a great challenge. In returning our society and children back at any semblance of normalcy, these alternate systems must be considered and specific solutions crafted to resolve the outstanding challenges discovered during the onslaught of the pandemic.”