U/East reduces malnutrition among children under 5


The Upper East Regional Health Directorate, with support from its partners, has reduced child malnutrition in the region by 0.4 percent among children under five years.

This according to the directorate, is an improvement over last year.

Speaking at an annual nutrition review and planning meeting held in Bolgatanga, on the theme, ‘Combating malnutrition in the first 1000 days of life; a multi-sectorial approach’, Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr. Joseph Opera said child malnourishment especially with  severe underweight children have reduced in the region.

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Dr. Opera said the directorate through the community management of severe malnutrition programme which is targeted at malnourished children, especially under five years in the communities, has contributed to reducing child malnutrition  by providing malnourished children with the right food and monitoring  their growth till they are better.

He added that, the region managed and rehabilitated 1,537 malnourished children in 2015. Out of 1,977 admission cases with 89.2 percent of the cases cured, and 8.6 percent victims  defaulted, 1.3 percent malnourished children also died in 2015, an improvement over 2014.

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He bemoaned some cultural practices in some tradition areas that contribute to child malnourishment coupled with lack of interest on the part of some mothers to report cases of malnutrition to the health facilities for timely management.

Dr. Opera disclosed that, some deep rooted cultural practices and the lack of awareness about packages available for malnourished children, could be blamed for the situation in the region.

He admonished parents to feed their children with the basic local foods which are enriched with the requisite nutrients for better growth, and urged them to report malnutrition cases timely to the nearest health facility for management.

Dr. Opera appealed to traditional and religious leaders who are revered by women and men in communities, to actively participate in diverse ways to tackle malnutrition.

By Fred Awuni/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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