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Involve men in child nutrition education and capacity building – World Vision Ghana

Tablet Children File Photo

Wed, 1 Mar 2023 Source: GNA

World Vision Ghana has advocated the involvement of men in child nutrition education to promote quality nutrition at the household level.

The Organisation observed that building the capacities of men would help to increase their participation in nutrition education as well as help them provide leadership on nutrition issues in households and improve the quality of feeding, especially for children.

This formed part of the lessons drawn by World Vision Ghana during the implementation of its Improved Feeding Practices for the First 1000 Days Project.

The Project, which commenced in 2020 and is expected to end in August this year, seeks to improve the feeding practices of 5,520 pregnant and lactating mothers and 4,900 children within the first 1000 days of life.

In collaboration with the World Bank, the project is being implemented in 70 communities in three districts in Ghana, namely, Kassena Nankana West (Upper East Region), Kintampo South (Bono East Region), and Sekyere East (Ashanti Region), and covering a total population of 84,354.

Giving an overview of the project at a workshop in Accra on Tuesday, Priscilla Babae, the Project Manager, said the Organisation had so far supplied more than 10,000 food supplements to children in the beneficiary communities.

“Last year, we were supposed to reach 2,000 children under two years. For last year, the Project was able to reach 10, 107 children with nutritional supplements against the annual target,” she said.

Priscilla Babae said the Project had also reached more than 71,000 people in the project implementation areas with nutrition messages.

On some of the lessons learned, she said the use of mixed methods in the promotion of nutritional supplements contributed to the acceptability of the project.

She said training men to get involved in nutrition education also helped to improve the quality of feeding at the household level.

Dickens Thunde, National Director, World Vision Ghana, said the Organisation intended to support the country to sustain and scale-up nutrition initiatives in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We want to explore possible opportunities to collaborate and scale up nutrition systems and agriculture interventions in Ghana through this learning event,” he said.

According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), more than half of infants aged 0-6 months in Ghana are not exclusively breastfed, and only 12 percent receive varied and frequent complementary foods.

Veronica Quartey, Deputy Director of Nutrition at the GHS, said in a speech on behalf of the Family Health Division of the GHS that, in spite of the progress made in improving nutrition over the last two decades, progress on minimising malnutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies, had been slow.

“We still have 1 in 5 children who are stunted; anaemia and several micronutrient deficiencies are highly present in Ghana, and 24 per cent of all child deaths are associated with undernutrition,” she said.

Dr Baffour Awuah, the Director of the Technical Coordination Directorate, GHS, in a speech on behalf of the Minister of Health, said the World Vision Ghana’s nutrition project aligned with Ghana’s Universal Health Coverage Roadmap 2020-2030.

He advised parents and caregivers to offer diverse and nutritious foods to their children, adding that children should have access to a variety of foods that provide the nutrients they need.

“When children are poorly nourished, especially in the first 1000 days from conception through the second birthday, their cognitive and physical development are compromised,” Dr. Awuah said.

Source: GNA
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