09.01.2006 General News

43% of Children In the North are malnourished

09.01.2006 LISTEN

Bolgatanga, Jan.9- GNA- Almost forty-three per cent of children in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions are malnourished as against the national average of 29.3 per cent. The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Professor Agyeman-Badu Akosa, announced this when he launched an Education Trust Fund for the Christ the King Primary and Junior Secondary School, a deprived School at Adognia in the Kassena-Nankana District of the Upper East Region, at the weekend. He emphasised that nutrition was very crucial to the development of children, without which their growth and development could be severely impaired.

Prof. Akosa explained that it was against this background that the GHS and the World Food Programme (WFP) in collaboration with other stakeholders had set up supplementary Feeding Centres in most of the deprived schools in the Upper East Region. He entreated parents to always ensure that their children were put on proper diet in order to avoid malnutrition. Parents must also use only iodated salt in preparing food for their children since it enhances their mental and physical development. Prof. Akosa made a personal donation of two million cedis cash and a set of books, school bags, and stationery to the school.

The Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Joseph Amankwah, said there the link between health, nutrition and education were inseparable. The three, he noted, were all dependable variables and formed the hallmark of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. He announced that with the provision of a feeding centre at the school, the pupils were being fed properly to enable them to study effectively and efficiently,

In a speech read on his behalf, the Regional Director of Education, Mr Ken Dabuo, lauded the launching of the Fund by the GHS, noting that government alone cannot shoulder the burden of providing quality education for children. He urged other stakeholders in education to emulate the shinning example of the GHS by complementing government's efforts in education. He stressed:" We shall be far from attaining our goal of having all children of school going age enrolled in schools by the year 2015, if such interventions are not forth coming."

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