Sun. Jul 25th, 2021

Yesterday, the entire country was put into sorrow by the viral video of how a caregiver force-fed an 11 months old baby until she gave up on life. The incident has triggered a lot of concerns about maternity, education and professionalism and culture.

According to reports, the caregiver, Clara Ayenfi-Ampah, 54, vented her anger on the poor 11 months old baby who refused to take anything. The CCTV installed at Happy Bloomers Creche at Agbogba covered the inhuman acts on behalf of the caregiver.

She forced a cup of porridge into Alegra Yaba Ackah Mensah’s mouth while holding her hands tightly behind her. Clara also pushed the little girl’s head into the cup with an attempt to let her drink the porridge. As helpless as the baby was, having been suffocated for long screamed and threw her legs ferociously.

Currently, the caregiver is in the custody of the police. The Accra Police Regional Command is on the case.

According to Leila Djansi, her cousin from Togo also force-fed her baby. Per the cousin, that’s the only means through which the baby who doesn’t like food will eat.

“My cousin from Togo visited us on Like Cotton Twines set in 2016. Her beautiful baby (who featured in the film) will not eat anything. No matter what. So she’d hold the baby’s nose and head back and force cerelac into her mouth. I would close my eyes cos I couldn’t watch. My mom begged her to stop but she insisted it was the only way the baby gets any food inside her.”

She expressed that force-fed is a cultural act. But these mothers need more education.

“Force-feeding is a cultural practice in most African countries. Education. Education. education.
These older, illiterate women whom we bring from the rural areas to care for our children need education. Training. Strict talking to.”

Also, she advised parents to stop sending their little ones to the Creche. Well, she understands how the economy is compelling these parents too. Therefore, she called on the labour authorities to look at maternity leave and its terms.

“No. The mother WILL NOT quit her job and stay at home. She should not have. The father of the baby was equally capable of quitting his job and staying at home. Or didn’t both of them make the baby together?
Stop sending your child to any nearby creche. Vet the workers. Interview them. See their licenses. Go there randomly and see what’s going on.
Are the staff of these crèches licensed via GES and MOH?
Ghana should consider 6 months to one year paid maternity leave for both parents taken concurrently.
Thoughts and prayers to the family.”

On the other hand, Ama K. Abebrese cried out that the caregiver, Clara should be strictly dealt with according to the law.

“This must be every parent/guardian’s worst nightmare. I pray for healing for the family.

I hope the women who committed this face the full extent of the law,” she said in reaction to the footage from the CCTV.

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