Commercializing Sick Children; Is It Allowed?

These days it is uncommon along our major streets to see a terminally sick child being advertised for money.

In some instances, a public address system, will be mounted with the portrait of the child, as well as the child being displayed, while soliciting for funds to take care of the medical needs of the child.

The situation is very prevalent near the 37 lorry station and the Okponglo traffic light. Just yesterday, another boy, who had gone partially blind, was also on display under the traffic light, after the Emmanuel Eye Clinic.

These children are mostly within the ages of three and eight, looking at them.

Children are special gifts of God, who are often referred to as leaders of tomorrow, the decision to commercialize their ailment, is not only demeaning, but dehumanizing.

They have no say, their opinions are not sought, before their ailment, which they did not ask for.

The Ghanaian child is one of the most endangered in the world. They are among the ones, who have been rated as the most out-of-school children the world over.

They are among the hungriest children in the world in view of the position of the country on the poverty index, although Ghana was the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to reduce poverty by half, as expected by the Millennium Development Goal 1, we are not out of the woods yet, as more than 2.8 million Ghanaians, representing about 10 per cent of the population, are living in extreme poverty, as at 2018, according to the report by the World Poverty Clock.

Ghanaian children are rated top among children that might die before their 5th birthday from common diseases like malaria, meningitis, malnutrition and cholera.

They are the ones with little or no chance of getting their dream jobs because their parents are not able to bribe anyone on their behalf.

Ghanaian children, are with little or no option as to what they want to pursue as a career, because the system is designed in such a way that you must be educated in a particular field to be employable, while little or no attention is paid to talent and interest.

Ghanaian children, are paraded on our streets as beggars, we hasten to add that some of the children used for begging, are foreigners.

As if all these are not enough, we now parade them to meet our own ends.

We have passed the Children’s act, we established the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), we have Department of Social Welfare, and other allied agencies, including Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs), the streets we mentioned above are well patronized, those with the responsibility to act see and turn a blind eye, the ordinary citizens, also see and say nothing. We are all guilty, in the way these children are dehumanized and exploited.

As a newspaper, in our view, it would not be out of place to begin to pay closer attention to how deformities in children are exploited for commercial purpose.

It is high time the government of Ghana, worked really hard at initiating beneficial activities that promote the welfare of Ghanaian children to ensure our future as a nation.

 

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