As part of measures aimed at combating abuses in homes, streetism and child slavery, the National Population Council (NPC) has stressed the need for government to focus on implementing programmes to reduce unintended pregnancy to curb child abuse in the country.
This, according to NPC, will not only minimise unintended waywardness and anti-social tendencies, including teenage pregnancies, but will eliminate child abuse in homes, child slavery, and attendant financial and security costs to the nation
This comes against the backdrop of a man in a circulated video abusing a toddler. The man is seen whipping the toddler in the presence of other men, whilst the little boy screamed in excruciating agony. Intriguingly, none of the witnesses in the viral video made any attempt to rescue the victim.
Speaking exclusively with the Daily Statesman yesterday, the Executive Director of NPC, Dr. Leticia Adelaide Appiah, said relevant reproductive health programmes are imperative in addressing population health and wellbeing, thus supporting sustainable development and maintaining human dignity.
Dr. Adelaide Appiah lamented the incident, saying it is worse than even the slave trade perpetrated by colonialists from another continent.
“On the face value, a grownup beating such a toddler will certainly attract condemnation, but we have also forgotten that the perpetrator was brought up in the same society that condones this barbaric act…So it is intergenerational, just like we pass on riches, we pass this bestial acts, too, on.
“You know the value of a country depending on how you treat the most vulnerable, namely, girls, children, old people…That tells who you’re. And in civilised societies, vulnerable are protected. They’re protected right from the onset, just like how a seed is nurtured to mature finally into a fruit-bearing plant,” she added.
In her view, any individual who cherishes something treats it well. “It can be investment. We cannot say in one breath that we love children, and in another breath, subject them to inhumane treatment. So why don’t we look at bigger and better picture and develop policies to guide our society,” she quizzed
She said if “we are having six or seven children and we would be beating them because they’re hungry, sick and you cannot find money for them because they have become a nuisance to you, why don’t we reduce it and cherish them”.
She believes that child abuse is an affront to the fundamental human rights of children and a threat to their present and future wellbeing. However, she said the eradication of child abuse and torture from society need collective involvement, spearheaded by a political will showing the way.
She stressed the need to focus on understanding effective population management and the science around it to address the critical implications of population growth in the country.
“We all need social system support, citing Qatar with a population of less than 3million who will be hosting the World Cup, as doing phenomenal, insisting that their focus is quality”.
Dr. Adelaide Appiah said bad things happen when the good people keep quiet. That is why, in her opinion, stakeholders work to prevent future occurrence.
This, according to her, will not only significantly increase average population health, and bridge inequality gaps within the population, but also improve life expectancy, and facilitate accelerated sustainable development of individuals, communities and the country in general
To that end, she recommended population policies aimed at a concerted effort of a comprehensive family programme, education and services in improving the quality of human capital sustainably for a genuine Ghana beyond aid.
“We cannot continue to ignore reproductive health information and services and population health on a national scale. It is a responsibility, it is a moral imperative and a key priority programme in any developed economy. And all stakeholders, politicians , religious and traditional authorities must in a concerted manner address this threat to our wellbeing and prosperity,” she added.