Journalist Gary Al- Smith has been announced as one of five ambassadors in the The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)’s Child Poverty and Equity Campaign.
An official statement announcing the collaboration described the assisting Joy Sports editor as among “leading positive influencers in Ghanaian society” and having a “wide social network audience”, a tool with which he effectively provides “local perspectives to global sports news to Ghanaians”; something the organization looks to harness in spreading and improving knowledge about in Ghana and across the continent.
The statement also stresses that Mr. Al -Smith joining the campaign affords “a rare opportunity of making a change by furthering [our] advocacy objectives and convening Ghanaians around issues pertaining to the rights of children.”
Child mortality and morbidity in Ghana are as a result of a number of components:
- Poor access to quality services: while improved, only 68% of women deliver with a skilled birth attendant. In the Northern Region that figure drops to 37% of women who have access to a skilled delivery. Care-seeking continues to be impeded by cost, distance and quality of services.
• Poor start to life: Stunting and other forms of malnutrition pose a significant risk to a child’s health and development, especially in their early years, increasing their vulnerability to diseases and infections.
• Risky environment: open drainage and lack of waste management systems are major drivers of malaria (the leading cause of death for children under five) as well as diarrhoea.
• Intergenerational poverty: children’s health and development is inextricably linked to the wellbeing and health of their mothers, and no less crucially, to their mother’s level of education.
Increased levels of education among women and lower household poverty, research proves, also significantly reduces infant mortality.
Since getting into journalism at 19 with inputs on BBC, he has gone on to contribute regularly for SuperSport, The Guardian, New York Times, ESPN, Al Jazeera, CNN, among other global media brands.
Immediate past curator of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers in Accra, he’s among 50 Shapers from around the world who will be at the prestigious Davos global youth leaders meeting scheduled for the Swiss Alps, January 2017.