The Executive Director of Ho-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Humanity and Nature Trust, Rev Gershon Kwame Osei, has entreated fathers to take a keen interest in the child welfare clinic (weighing) attendance of their children and not leave that role solely to mothers.
“Taking the child to the weighing centre must be a shared responsibility between the man and the woman,” he indicated.
He said for far too long, fathers in many communities did not involve themselves vigorously in that role, resulting in low child immunisation performances in parts of the Volta Region.
Rev Osei made the remarks in an interview with The Mirror last Friday at Ave-Afiadenyigba in the Akatsi North District after the NGO trained 12 community health nurses and volunteers from six communities to sensitise men to the need for them to be involved in the child welfare clinic attendance of their children.
This was done with support from GAVI-PSR, a global health partnership, with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.
The trainees were selected from Ave-Afiadenyigba, Ashiagborvi, Zemu, Agormor, Avega and Ettekorfe.
Later in an interview, the Regional Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Senanu Kwesi Djokoto, commended the move by Humanity and Nature Trust as appropriate and timely.
“We need the involvement of the men to ensure a greater coverage with regard to the 13 vaccine preventable diseases among children,” he said.
Dr Djokoto explained that mothers needed emotional support from their partners in times of ante-natal and postnatal care and also during family planning services.
Apart from that, he said the regular presence of men at the child welfare clinic would enable them to appreciate the stress mothers went through attending the clinics, and also enable them to appreciate at first hand the indirect financial obligations involved in the attendance.
“Although services at the child welfare centres are free, there are certain indirect financial obligations, such as cost of transportation involved,” the Deputy Director of Health added.
He said there was a lot of work to be done in the vaccination of children against the 13 childhood preventable diseases, and that highlighted the need for active male involvement.