The Social Investment Fund (SIF) has constructed five Community Nutrition Centres in the Upper West Region at a total cost of 1.018 billion (1,018,500,000.00) cedis to help fight the high incidence of malnutrition in the region.
The centres are located at Bihee in the Wa Municipality, Vieri in the Wa West District, Funsi in Wa East District, Kunyukuo in the Lawra District and Zumura in the Sissala East District.
Mr Kwame Obeng Ntim, Zonal officer of the Fund in-charge of the three Northern regions said the Nutrition Centres had already contributed significantly to the reduction of malnutrition in the beneficiary communities since their establishment. He was speaking at a community durbar at Bihee last Friday during which, the Nutrition Centre at Bihee was inaugurated by, Mr Ambrose Dery, the Upper West Regional Minister.
At the Centres, the World Food Programme provides mothers and children with food, while the Ghana Health Service provides technical assistance in health promotion, monitoring of growth and sensitisation programmes.
Mr Dery urged chiefs and opinion leaders to be strong advocates for good health and nutrition in the communities. He said the government would continue to pursue policies and programmes that would bring about needed respite for the people and therefore needed their support and co-operation in that direction.
He, therefore asked the people to take advantage of policies and programmes such as the National Health Insurance Health Scheme and capitation grant for children in basic schools, that were intended to give affordable quality health care and free basic education for their children respectively.
Mr Vitalis Yang, Wa Municipal Nutrition Officer said with the establishment of the Bihee Nutrition Centre, malnutrition in the community dropped from 33.4 per cent for stunted growth in 2003 to 7.59 per cent in 2006, while for wasted growth, it fell from 34.2 per cent to 3.6 per cent during the same period.