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14.06.2005 Regional News

Nutrition status of children improves in KEEA

GNA
Nutrition status of children improves in KEEA

Elmina, June 14, GNA- The nutritional status of children in 10 communities in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) District has improved considerably since the district was selected to be part of the Community Based Nutrition and Food Security Project (CBNFSP) in 2003. The 70 per cent malnutrition rate among children in the beneficiary communities like Ankaase, Atonkwa, Amoanda, Abrehyia, Brenu-Akyinim, Besease, Duakyimase, Ponkrom, Sanka and Saaman has reduced to 25 per cent.

Mrs Hannah Adjei, Liaison Officer of the CBNEFSP announced this at a forum at Elmina to assess the impact of the project. She said lactating women practicing the six months exclusive breast-feeding had also increased from 30 to 70 per cent while 78.9 per cent of babies from zero to two years have been immunized. Mrs Adjei observed that there was no scientific proof why malnutrition is higher in male children and asked parents to give balance diet to their children.

Mrs Welhemina Okwabi, Senior Nutrition Officer of the Nutrition Unit of the Ghana Health Service who gave an overview of the project said KEEA was among three districts selected for the pilot phase of the project. The rest are Bongo, Sefwi-Wiawso and Kadjebi. She revealed that 40 per cent of all child deaths was due to

protein-energy malnutrition. Mrs Okwabi said another component of the project was to improve on food security at the community level. She urged women to prepare well balanced diet for their families using local food items like Kontomire, groundnut, and maize. Mr Afesi Agama, District Nutrition Officer, said the project had since April, disbursed 381.2 million cedis to 764 women in the beneficiary communities who are engaged mainly in farming and trading. He said each woman was given 500,000 cedis and were expected to repay the money after six months. He said another 120 million cedis would soon be disbursed and appeal to the beneficiaries to pay back the money on time to extend the network. Mr Agama expressed happiness that the project had helped reduced stunted growth, which was common among children in the district.

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