Journalists schooled on nutrition

The Ghana Coalition of Civil Societies Organizations for Scaling up Nutrition (GHACCSSUN) has organized a workshop to equip journalists with knowledge and skills on nutrition reporting.

The workshop held in Accra on Thursday was also aimed at producing cadres of mass media personnel who would be sensitive to the challenges of nutrition and its multifaceted impact on Ghanaians.

Nana Ayim Poakwah, National Coordinator of GHACCSSUN, said the success of the workshop would kick start a network of nutrition reporters that could work with the group and the government to push the nutrition agenda forward.

He said it was important to make majority of Ghanaians aware and understand nutrition better to reduce major challenges that malnutrition posed in Ghana.

Dr. Edith Tetteh, Focal Person for National Scaling up Nutrition {SUN}, said Ghana had developed a national nutrition policy which would soon be endorsed and validated by key stakeholders and cabinet and expressed happiness that members of the coalition had contributed to it.

She said more than one third of children suffer from malnutrition with devastating consequences on health, future earning potentials, economic development, resilience and security.

Madam Wilhelmina Okwabi, Deputy Director and Head of the Nutrition Department at the Ghana Health Service, said recent analysis on epidemiological evidence showed that in Ghana 40% of all deaths before the age of five were due directly and indirectly to under nutrition, making it the single most important cause of child mortality.

She said a recent study suggested that the high prevalence of under nutrition, coupled with inadequate maternal and child care behaviour such as low rate of iron supplementation among pregnant women, early or late initiation of complementary feeding among children, might be reasons for the stagnated child mortality levels in Ghana.

Madam Okwabi said while there was a steady improvement of the nutritional situation in recent years, the prevalence of under nutrition was still unacceptably high.

She listed feeding practices, food security, food safety, health care, water, sanitation and hygiene, socio-cultural and caring practices as the major determinants of malnutrition.

Madam Okwabi said under nutrition in Ghana resulted in stunting, underweight and that the three northern regions as well as the Central Region had the highest rates of stunting and wasting.

She said the rates were linked closely to food insecurity situation in those areas according to the Ministry of Health’s 2007 National Health Policy.

Mr Kwabena Appiah Pinkrah, Co-chairman of the Ghana Parliamentarians against Hunger and Malnutrition Caucus, said members of Parliament would lobby for increased budget allocation for nutrition programmes.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.