UNICEF says 82,000 children in Ghana die every year before 5th birthday

Children jubilateMadam Rushnan Murtaza, Deputy Country Director of UNICEF, has disclosed that out of every one million children born in Ghana, 82,000 of them die every year before their fifth birthday.

It is also estimated that less than half representing 46 per cent of the babies born in the country are given only breast milk for the first six months of their lives.

Madam Murtaza, who was speaking during a workshop for the Council of Traditional Women Leaders (CTWL) over the weekend, said 23 per cent of children in the country are suffering from stunted growth.

She called for an improvement in the consumption of iodised salt as only one -third of the nation’s population consume the product.

Madam Murtaza said out of every 100,000 pregnant women who go into labour, 350 of them lose their lives during children birth.

“Also more than 30 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49… cannot make decision   concerning their health,” she said.

Madam Murtaza said one out of every five children die in the country due to diarrhoea and pneumonia.

She noted that although there has been a lot of education against open defecation, five million people in the country still do so in the open.

She called for the construction and use of latrines, washing of hands with soap after visiting the toilet, before consuming or preparing food and after cleaning a child’s buttocks.

Dr Seidu Danaa, Minister of Culture and Chieftaincy, cited succession as the main challenging facing the chieftaincy institution as there are no documentation on the processes and procedures of the event in the various traditional areas.

He said the management and the protection of traditional affairs as well as the maintenance of law and order are the primary responsibilities of traditional leaders.

Dr Danaa called on the queen mothers to collaborate with chiefs to enhance the chieftaincy institution.

Nana Ama Ayensua Saara 111, Queen mother of Denkyira Traditional Area, noted that a lot of queen mothers have been denied their part of royalties accrued from the sale of stool lands among others because they did not know their rights.

“There exist the erroneous impression culturally constructed and socially enforced that if a woman becomes rich, she will become arrogant and uncontrollable,” she said.

She urged the queen mothers to continue with the fight against the abolishment of outmoded traditional practices and HIV and AIDS.

Source: GNA

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