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25.10.2005 Regional News

Human development Reports on three district assemblies launched

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Tema, Oct. 25, GNA - A Research Fellow of the Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA) Ms Abena D. Oduro on Tuesday stressed the need for society to focus attention on both girls and boys in the area of education.

She noted that in some areas of the country enrolment of girls far exceeded boys and said focus on the girl child alone is likely to leave the boys behind therefore, the boy child must also be targeted in the educational campaign.

She said an in-depth research on Human Development took her to the Buisla District where it came to light that enrolment of girls exceeded the boys.

The Research Fellow made the call in her presentation at the launching of the 2004 District Human Development Reports (DHDRs) and progress report on Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) for three Municipal/District Assemblies at Tema, namely Builsa, Atwima and Tema. The reports which become workable document for the assemblies seek to develop realistic policies and strategies that have the capacity to bridge unacceptable differences in the quality of human well-being among different communities in the districts. With "vulnerability" as the theme and sponsorship from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Wealth Creation Social Development Programme, the report covered eight areas of human development, production and trade, good governance and the environment. In the area of health, Ms. Oduro said there was high rate of HIV/AIDS and high incidence of chronic nutrition, among children in the Tema municipality and called for a reverse in the situation by adopting strategies.

On the economy, she said her research revealed that food prices were high in Tema, thus compelling borrowing to maintain their consumption level as some purchased food on credit. Launching the reports, Professor George Gyan Baffour, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning noted that Ghana is monitoring the prevalence of underweight children below five years saying, "malnutrition remains a concern in Ghana".

He said data from the 2003 GDHS results shows that 30 percent of children less than five are stunted, 30 percent wasted and seven percent underweight.

"The 2004 MDG report indicates that if current trends in nutritional trend should continue, it is likely that Ghana will meet the MDG target of reducing by half, the incidence of underweight and wasted children by 2015."

Mr Daouda Toure, UNDP resident representative hoped the report would bring connection between the global, national and district human developments reports complementing each other.

He said it is UNDP's contribution to the decentralised and local authorities and urged stakeholders to study them and work on it for the benefit of posterity.

Dr. Regina O. Adutwum, Acting Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission, who chaired the programme said the report seeks to provide decision makers with improved data for making informed decisions in the allocation of resources and urged them to be conversant with the contents.

In a welcoming address, Mr. David Quaye Annang, Tema Municipal Chief Executive noted that District assemblies have the mandate to plan and implement programmes and projects for development to create wealth to reduce poverty and this could be done with good and reliable data. Mr. George Scott, Tema Municipal Co-ordinating Director commended the researchers for an in-depth work as the report gives good guidance for the assemblies in making budgetary and expenditure decisions. 25 Oct. 05