Care and child protection during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak

23Jun 2020
James Kandoya
The Guardian
Care and child protection during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak

​​​​​​​Evidence from previous infectious disease outbreaks indicate that existing child protection risks are exacerbated, and new ones emerge, as a result of the epidemic as well as of the socioeconomic impacts of prevention and control measures.

Some children are at increased risk in these circumstances, especially those without parental/family care, those at risk of separation from family, those in alternative care, and those who have recently left alternative care. The aim of this Technical Note is to support child protection practitioners and government officials in their immediate response to the child protection concerns faced by children who are at risk of separation or in alternative care during COVID-19 pandemic.

A non-governmental organisation, Women against HIV/Aids in Kilimanjaro (KIWAKUKI) has offered child development trainings for professional educators and stakeholders, a move aimed to ensure child protection during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

The trainings will help the para teachers to ensure children’s good health by preventing them from contracting the new viral disease.

Speaking with this paper on the child development programme, Kiwakuki project coordinator, Egla Matechi said the trainings for the children will focus on five components including nurturing care, good health, adequate nutrition, safety, security and responsive care. 

The training which is sponsored by the US-based organisation—Firelight Foundation aims at ensuring good health and child protection, among many others, she said.

She added that the para teachers and stakeholders who participated in the training will be responsible for training children aged between 0 and 3 years. She said children will be provided with more skills that will add to what they get from their parents and guardians.

“To reach their full potential, children need the five inter-related and indivisible components of nurturing care; good health, adequate nutrition, safety, security and responsive care,” Matechi explained.

She added that in the first years of life, parents, family members and caregivers should be closest to the young children since they are the best providers of nurturing care.

“This is why secure family environments are important for young children. In order to provide caregivers with time and resources to provide nurturing care, policies, services and community supports need to be in place,” she said.

Kiwakuki is a Kiswahili acronym for ‘Kikundi cha Wanawake Kilimanjaro Kupambana na Ukimwi’. The NGO was registered in 1995.