Dr Kofi Amo-Kodieh, the Bono Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service on Tuesday, implored parents to provide their children with good nutrition before they leave for school.
This would build and strengthen their immune systems, and protect them from contracting diseases, including the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) as well.
Dr Amo-Kodieh indicated that the number of COVID-19 cases kept increasing and appealed to the general public to strictly observe the health safety protocols, while they provided their children with good and balanced diets.
Speaking at the Regional launch of the "start right, feed right" campaign, Dr Amo-Kodieh emphasised good nutrition remained the bedrock and healthy rights of children that build on their intellectual capabilities to enable them to make good decisions.
Her excellency Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady launched the national campaign in August 2019, which targeted children from birth to two years and aimed at preventing avoidable deaths.
Currently, Dr Amo-Kodieh regretted only about 43 per cent of babies in the region were being exclusively breastfed, saying mothers who had contracted COVID-19 could continue to breastfeed their babies while they went through vigorous COVID-19 protocols.
The Regional Director indicated good immune system, use of nose masks and hand sanitizers, as well as handwashing with soap under running water, remained the surest remedy to protect oneself from contracting the COVID-19 and urged the public to comply with the protocols.
Nana Yeboah Pene II, the Queen of Chiraa, and Benkumhemaa of Dormaa Traditional Area, who presided, noted exclusive breastfeeding was essential to the growth and development of children and advised nursing mothers to attach great importance to it.
Exclusive breastfeeding, she added protected babies and infants from infections, avoidable deaths and made them healthy at all times, and further urged nursing mothers to eat balanced diets.
In an overview, Dr John Ekow Otoo, the Bono Regional Deputy Director, Public Health, explained the year-long campaign further sought to create awareness for everybody to understand the need for young children have proved diets to prevent overweight, obesity and stunting and micronutrients deficiencies.
He emphasised stunting, anaemia in women of reproductive age, adolescent girls and children as well as Wasting remained huge national challenge which required decisive and concerted approach to tackle and called for the active involvement of all stakeholders to make the campaign effective and achieve desirable outcomes.
Within the first six months, Dr Otoo said nursing mothers ought to only provide their babies with breast milk and stop giving them other food supplements and water.