The 2021 Child Health Promotion Week (CHPW) has been launched in Accra with a call on parents to ensure that all children under age five are immunised and protected against childhood diseases that may cause disabilities.

The week, which is being celebrated from Monday May 10 to Friday May 14, is aimed at reducing child morbidity and mortality by creating an increased demand for child healthcare services.

Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye said despite the devastating effects of COVID-19 on health service, child health and nutrition service had remained effective in all health facilities across the country.

He said the CHPW presented a platform to create awareness among decision makers and communities to renew commitments to protect and save lives of children.

During the one week celebrations, the GHS will educate parents on the need to ensure and sustain the provision of child survival interventions such as Vitamin A supplementation, routine immunisation, growth monitoring, birth registering, for children under five in all parts of the country.

Dr Aboagye said the government would continue to prioritise child health and strengthen its integration into Universal Health Care programming to ensure that all children had access to equitable healthcare.

Deputy Director of Family Health Division, GHS, Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses said the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health directly.

She said the uptake of child care services decreased initially at the onset of the pandemic but had picked up and stabilised now.

Dr Sagoe –Moses said the major causes of under-five child morbidity and mortality were; birth asphyxia, malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition, which were mostly preventable with known interventions.

She encouraged all mothers to breastfeed their babies to help protect children against those diseases

The Child Health Promotion Week (CHPW) was instituted in May 2004 by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service as a sustainable way of improving child healthcare services.

This year’s celebration is on the theme: “Sustaining Child Health Service in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”