It has been reported on Ghanaweb(5th October 2020) that a resident at Assin Praso, Gladys Ackom, woke up to discover a new born baby dumped in the walkway leading to her bathroom and that the mother of this baby was yet to be identified.
In some developed countries such as the UK, antenatal care is universally free and it is mandatory for all pregnant women to seek antenatal care through out their pregnancies. And failure to seek antennal or attend antenatal care appointments regularly without good reasons would raise alarm bells and the midwifery department will notify the local Child Protection Department and Children’s Services will undertake a risk assessment. A Pre- Birth Child Protection Conference consisting of various child welfare professionals: Social workers, Midwives, Doctors, mental health nurses, police, the family and other relevant professionals could be held with a view to devise a Child Protection Plan to protect and safeguard the unborn baby.
The NDC People’s Manifesto is promising Ghanaians that the next President John Mahatma’s government will provide Free Universal Primary Health Care, which will include accessible and free antenatal care to all pregnant women and the provision of incentives to encourage and motivate pregnant women to access antenatal care.
The Free Primary Health Care will provide the opportunity for professionals to pick up early signals from pregnant women intending to abandon or relinquish their babies at birth so that the authorities would take the necessary actions to protect and safeguard the baby.
The role of well trained and equipped social worker in social protection cannot be overemphasised; social workers are lead professionals in social protection, especially in child protection practice in advanced countries.
For the first time in Ghana’s history, a major political party- NDC is promising to establish a Centre of Excellence for the training of social workers to take care of the most vulnerable in Ghana and offer employment opportunities for graduates from the School of Social Work.
I am therefore, appealing to all social workers, child welfare professionals, allied professionals and Ghanaians at large to vote massively for President John Mahama and NDC’s parliamentary candidates on 7th December 2020. This is because President John Mahama’s next government will provide Free Primary Health Care, well trained and equipped social workers to lead the social protection efforts in Ghana, which will seek to minimise, and in the long term, eradicate these kinds of unfortunate incidents.
Alhaji Alhassan Mbalba- Social Protection Expert
NDC-UK & Ireland Chapter