Regional News of Fri, 30 Jan 20040

Health and nutritional status of children improve

Elmina (C/R), Jan 30, GNA- The health and the nutritional status of children in 10 communities in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) district of the Central Region, which have been selected for the Community Based Nutrition and Food Security Project (CBNFSP) on pilot basis, had improved since it was introduced eight months ago.

The project which is being carried out in four districts including Sefwi Wiawso and Bongo in the Western and Upper East regions respectively, seeks to enhance nutritional status of children with local foods and also promote micro financing of the businesses of women of the beneficiary communities.

The beneficiary communities are Bisease, Attonkwa, Saaman, Ankaase, Abrehyia, Amoanda, Duakyimasi, Brenu- Akyinmu, Sanka and Pongkrom and the goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to achieve on a sustainable basis adequate nutrition and food security for children under five.

Mr. Agama Afesi, District Nutrition Officer said this after a general review meeting of the project, with the beneficiary communities and a team from the National Nutrition Division of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), at Elmina on Friday.

He said it is part of Ghana's poverty reduction programme with a World Bank support.

The nutrition officer said most children who were malnourished have had their health improved drastically, after the promoters had given their mothers advice on nutrition and health issues. He said the project which is in two phases, is expected to end in December 2004.

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Mr. Afesi said under the first phase, community growth promoters were trained to counsel mothers on infant feeding, family planning, weighing and other relevant topics that enhance the healthy growth of children as well as conducting home visits to monitor their progress.

He said immunisation coverage had increased considerably while the consumption of iodated salt and the utilisation of insecticide mosquito nets have also gone up due to the activities of the promoters.

Mr. Afesi said from next month, about 2,000 women in the 10 communities would benefit from a loan facility ranging from 50,000 to five million cedis under the second phase which is the micro finance scheme to help support their income generating activities.

Earlier Mrs Rosina Agble, Coordinator of the National Nutrition Division of the GHS, urged all stakeholders to support the project because it needed a multi-sectoral approach for it to succeed. She commended KEEA district for the manner the project had been implemented in the district.

The KEEA District Chief Executive, Nana Ato Arthur said the project would soon be extended to all other parts of the district and reminded women who would benefit from the facility, not to consider it as a gift but repay for others to benefit and not to politicised it.

Source: GNA

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