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Regional News of Sunday, 28 April 2013

Source: myjoyonline.com

Killing of 'spirit children' abolished in Upper East Region

The practice of killing children believed to possess spirits has now been formally abolished in seven communities in the Upper East region.

The chiefs, opinion leaders and people of the seven communities which are in the Kasena-Nankana East and West districts, have publicly announced the end of the spirit child phenomenon.

Myjoyonline.com published a report on April 1, 2011, on the chilling practice of cultural murder; the killing of babies who are born with deformities, or whose birth coincide with a tragic incident in the family, such as the loss of a parent.

In that report, Joy News Seth Kwame Boateng visited the “Sirigu” orphanage to uncover the chilling practice of cultural murder; the killing of babies who are deformed at birth.

The seven communities, known to be practicing the killing of alleged spirit children, held a grand durbar on Saturday to announce an end to the age old barbaric practice.

The declaration followed 12 years of intensive education against the practice by Afrikids Ghana, a child rights Non-governmental Organisation.

Meanwhile, the 30 elders (concoction men), who brew poisonous liquid from local roots and herbs and force-feeds the alleged spirit children until they die, have been presented with four goats, a bicycle each, food items and have been registered under the National Health Insurance.

They are now to be called “Life Promoters” and have been tasked to promote the life of hitherto spirit children.

As part of the package, the former concoction men will be taken on a trip to schools in the communities to interact with pupils on specific issues affecting them.

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