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11.08.2005 Education

GHS Launches Adognia Education Fund

GNA

Accra, Aug. 11, GNA - Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Thursday suggested that every Ghanaian should pay at least 500 cedis a month to support the problem of malnutrition and education of under privileged children. He said the level of poverty in the country especially those in the rural communities was too extreme that parents could not afford one balanced meal a day.

Speaking at the launch of an education fund for the people of Adognia in the Upper East Region code-named: "Adognia Education Fund", Prof. Akosa said Ghanaians should learn to give "even in the midst of our poverty".

"We should not always rely on others to come to our aid when there is a problem or we are in crises. We should also learn to support ourselves or else things will not work out for us."

The education fund, initiated by the GHS with support from the World Food Programme seeks to address and control the problem of poor nutrition, low enrolment of children of school going age into schools. The fund, which also forms part of Nutrition Unit of the GHS's Supplementary Feeding Programme for 30 selected feeding sectors, has created an environment that allowed children of school going age at the feeding centre to go through primary to junior secondary and be able to write the examination with their colleagues down South. Prof. Akosa noted that the fund would not only serve Adognia but other schools in other regions as well.

He said good nutrition was very paramount to the development of every child into a healthy, knowledgeable and productive adult. According to the 2003 Ghana Demographic Health Survey, one out every three children in Ghana is suffering from the effects of long-term inadequate food intake and 50 per cent of deaths of children less than five years old, was caused by under nutrition.

Mrs Mary Quaye, National Coordinator of the School Health Programme of the Ghana Education Service, who launched the fund, called on stakeholders to mobilise financial, technical and political support for the implementation and sustainability of the programme.

She also stressed the need to pool resources to control the problem of poor nutrition and to increase the enrolment of children into school. In a speech read for Trudy Bower-Pirinis, WFP Representative in Ghana, he said Adognia story was a success and an ideal model, which could be replicated by all communities charting the course of development through good health and food security. 11 Aug. 05

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