Ghana makes progress on child wellbeing but data shows that disparities still need to be bridged
ACCRA, 30 January 2014 – A new premier source of data and information on child well-being has been released today by UNICEF to mark the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the child. The report underscores the value of data in revealing some of the striking inequities facing children.
In Ghana latest data from the 2011 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) shows that inspite of the economic growth, huge disparities still exist – Unequal distribution of resources amongst the north and the south, rural and urban, poor and rich continue to grow rather than decline.
It is through data that we know that Ghanaian children living in rural areas experience higher levels of infant and under-five mortality compared to those living in urban areas. A child in the Upper West region is nearly three times more likely to die before the age of five than a child born in the Greater Accra region.
Evidence revealed from the MICS survey also shows that even though primary net education rate is about 84% for Ghana nearly half a million children are still not enrolled despite universal free basic education.
“In Ghana UNICEF is a knowledge center on children because of the various surveys we have undertaken in collaboration with the Government. These have helped to expose where the conditions are worse for children and to advocate for more work to be done” said Susan Ngongi, UNICEF Ghana Representative.
The report says that a lot of progress has been made since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was signed in 1989 and in the run up to the culmination of the Millennium Development Goals. However, it calls for much more to be done. It urges increased investment in innovation that will ensure that all children everywhere are counted, to right the wrong of exclusion. The report notes that "being counted makes children visible, and this act of recognition makes it possible to address their needs and advance their rights."
The report noted that data is useful when decision makers use it to make a difference in the lives of people; it is also a useful tool for children and communities to hold duty bearers to account