With COVID-19 ravaging people’s lives and livelihoods and an estimated 80,253 Ghanaians contracting the virus with 577 deaths, initiatives aimed at providing coping mechanisms, reducing vulnerabilities, boosting people immunity and reducing inequality must be highly commended and up scaled.
Even though evidence from the Global Nutrition report indicates that Ghana has made significant progress towards Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) targets by reducing anaemia among women of reproductive age to 46.4% among women aged 15-49 years, no progress has been made in achieving targets on exclusive breastfeeding as only 43% of infants aged 0-5 months are exclusively breastfed.
The BOD and management of RISE-Ghana was excited to learn that over 235,000 children and adolescent in the North East Region of Ghana are set to benefit from Nutrition Supplies and Therapeutic Foods, thanks to the Chinese Government for investing US$1 million through UNICEF-Ghana.
This intervention is not only timely but relevant of the long-term human capital development of the region and the country as a whole. The intervention falls part on Government of Ghana national efforts to improve the situation of women, infants and young children.
The relevance of the intervention is captured in press release issued by UNICEF-Ghana “Under nutrition also continues to threaten children’s survival and development in Ghana. It accounts for 24% of child deaths in Ghana and leads to stunting of growth and brain function. Infant and young child feeding practices - breastfeeding and complementary feeding are under-practiced and contribute to under nutrition. Currently, only 52% of newborn babies are put to the breast within one hour of delivery and 43% are not exclusively breastfed at six months. Only 12% of 6-23 months children receive high-quality diets with recommended frequency for them to grow and develop well”.
RISE-Ghana, having been championing health systems strengthening, health promotion and advocacy in partnership with UNICEF-Ghana’s C4D, Child Protection and Health Sections, wishes to commend the Chinese Government, UNICEF and the Government of Ghana for achieving this important milestone.
We urge other multi-national agencies and donors to emulate the good example to ensure other deprived regions are adequately covered and that no one is left behind in the spirit of the SDGs.
Alhaji Awal Ahmed Kariama Executive Director