With the goal of increasing brain development in children from conception to age three, the Ghana Health Service has launched an Early Childhood Development Material.
The USAID through the Maternal Child Survival program (MCSP) in Ghana has innovated in the area of Early Childhood Development and health integration by integrating psycho-social stimulation into existing Nutrition and Health programming via the existing Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS).
Early Childhood Development materials launch provided an opportunity for those under the Maternal Child Survival program to share their experiences from more than one year of piloting this approach in the Upper West and Eastern Regions of Ghana.
The Early Childhood Development materials will also increase knowledge of early stimulation as well as leverage frontline health workers to promote and practice early stimulation techniques at the community levels.
Speaking at the launch of the Early Childhood Development Material, Deputy Director of Family Health, Reproductive and Child Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses stated that “it’s important to start stimulating children very early in life especially the first two years of life up to three years that is when most of their brain development occurs and that’s when we can maximize the inputs. We have been piloting these in some districts in Eastern Region and Upper West region together with our USAID and Maternal and Child Survival Program”
She added that Early Childhood Development Material helps a child develop their maximum potential and prevent stunted development.
“With child development we need to stimulate the children very early, we need to play with them, sing with them, talk to them but unfortunately many of us don’t know the benefits of these and so we don’t do it with the children. And so children’s potential is not being maximized. If we want them to do well in school and develop to their maximum potential these activities should start very early even when the mother is pregnant.” She added
Various Stakeholders at the event used the opportunity to discuss how best to implement the Nurturing Care Framework in Ghana, build and accelerate the momentum from June national launch on the Nurturing Care Framework in Ghana.