Eastern Region to benefit from Nestle health programme

NestleNestlé Ghana has organised a workshop for 40 teachers in the Kwahu Afram Plains District in the Eastern Region on improved nutrition education, dietary and sanitary practices in schools.

As part of the company’s Healthy Kids Global Programme, the workshop provided the teachers an opportunity to gain insight to the reality of the enduring problems of under-nutrition and the obesity epidemic, relying on their unique position as educators to impact on the lifestyle of the pupils in a qualitative manner.

The two-day training workshop took the participants through the teachers’ manual and children’s reader designed by Ghana Education Service, the Nutritional and Food Science Department of the University of Ghana and Nestlé for the implementation of the programme.

The programme started in 2011 in the Agona East and Juaboso districts of the Central and Western Regions, with more than 4,000 children benefiting during the pilot phase.

It is expected to scale up to Ashanti, Eastern and Northern Regions before the end of 2013 and again benefit additional 6,000 children, with 2000 of them coming from  Kwahu Afram Plains District, which has been considered as one of the most deprived in the country, with nutritional challenges facing the pupils.

Mr Aaron Fenu, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestlé Ghana, told Ghana News Agency in an interview in Koforidua that the results so far had been outstanding in terms of nutrition knowledge on the part of the teachers and the children, complementing what the Ghana Education Service is already doing in the area.

“To facilitate the nutrition lessons, each pupil in a beneficiary school is given a children’s reader for 45-minute nutrition class and one physical activity class per week.

“Nestlé also provides teaching models and sports kits to help the children make the practical link between the lessons delivered and the reality being confronted,” he explained.

In order to achieve maximum impact, refresher courses, have been organised for the beneficiary schools teachers.

Mrs Deda Ogum, a Resource Person of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science of the University of Ghana said there are concerns about the nutritional status of children in Ghana, oftentimes leading to poor growth and educational performances, necessitating such a bold intervention, “like the one being spearheaded by Nestlé”.

She said most problems in children were as results of nutritional imbalances, which could have serious implication for their growth and performance, and urged Ghanaians to take greater role in appreciating the nutritional essence in the making of a productive nation.

Samenhyia Presbyterian Primary, Ekye-Amanfrom Anglican Primary, Ntonaboma R.C. Primary, Bruben D.A. Primary and Donkorkrom St Michael Primary School have been selected for the project in the Eastern Region.

Source: GNA

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