Participants at the Upper West Regional Child Protection Committee quarterly meeting in Wa have advocated the merger of the Departments of Social Welfare and Community Development under one Ministry to ensure effective implementation of child protection policies in the country.
They emphasized that even though the two Departments coordinate well at the district level to promote child protection, the same cannot be said at the regional and national levels since they operate under different Ministries.
The one-day meeting which covered the second and third quarters was organized by the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council with support from the Department of Children.
In attendance were representatives from government departments and agencies promoting child protection, UNICEF, religious groups and other stakeholders.
The meeting discussed the progress made by the region in addressing child abuse, teenage pregnancy, exploitation, violence and discrimination against children and the way forward.
The participants equally stressed the need for registration of every child at birth to improve the data base of the country and also facilitate easy access to the Ghana Card. It emphasized on the need to educate people, especially children in Upper West on security issues in view of threats of terrorism in the sub-region.
The participants further emphasized on the provision of adequate funds towards child protection programmes.
They however urged the implementers of such programmes to submit their reports on progress made in time to help address the inherent challenges.
A Child Protection Specialist at the UNICEF Country Office in Ghana, Emmanuel Nyarko-Tetteh announced that child protection issues have been integrated into the curricular of Midwifery and Nursing Training Colleges across the country to equip the trainees.
He reiterated that it was about time health professionals addressed the psycho-social and other needs of children brought to the health facilities.