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01.02.2005 Regional News

C/R weanimix projects to be revived to enhance children nutrition

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Cape Coast Feb. 1 GNA- The Central Regional Coordinator of the Ghana National Commission on Children (GNCC), Mr. Divine Opare, on Tuesday announced that the Commission, in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) would revive the 13 Weanimix projects in the region to enhance the nutrition status of children.

He said the projects, when revived would not only be used for preparing weanimix, but would be used in the processing of other food items for the public.

Mr Opare made the announcement during a day's sensitisation programme on nutrition for post- natal and ante-natal mothers in Idan, Brofoyedur and Amanful all suburbs of the Cape Coast municipality, under the theme: " the key to healthy growth -exclusive breastfeeding".

The programme was to educate the mothers on exclusive breastfeeding and the provision of other food supplements to babies. He underscored the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for children from the date of birth to the sixth month, stressing that there was increasing evidence that good nutrition helps the body resist infection and other health problems.

The regional coordinator said improving the nutrition of women and children was the greatest health challenges facing the sector today and called on all stakeholders to assist the sector to address the situation.

Mr Opare pointed out that malnutrition was synonymous with growth failure, adding that high levels of stunting growth depicts that there would also be long-term deficits in mental and physical development that could make children ill prepared for total maximum advantage of learning opportunities in school.

Mrs Joyce Bondzi Asmah, district nutrition officer, took the mothers through the proper way of breastfeeding and the kind of food supplements that should be provided after the sixth month. She said breast milk contains all the nutrients the baby needs to grow and there was no need to give their babies with any food supplement before the sixth month.

She however, said as much as it was important to breastfeed their babies with breast milk, it was wrong for any mother to give her baby to another woman to breastfeed due to the HIV/AIDs pandemic. Mrs. Asmah advised them to practice good hygiene, keep their environment clean and make sure they give their children nutritious meals to enhance their growth. 01 02 05

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