Over 360 basic school teachers and district education officials have successfully completed training on Nutrition, Hygiene and Sanitation, Importance of Hydration and Physical Activity.
The training, which was initiated in 2011 by Nestlé-Ghana, has reached 14,000 children directly through classroom activities in Ghana and over 80,000 in Central and West Africa.
Mr Aaron Fenu, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestlé-Ghana, said the training was aimed at building the nutritional knowledge of teachers to enable them adequately transmit and shape the child’s knowledge in nutrition.
The beneficiary educational districts were Juaboso (Western Region), Agona East (Central Region), Savelugu-Nanton (Northern Region), Adansi North and South (Ashanti Region) and Kwahu North – Afram Plains (Eastern Region).
He said the training formed part of the global Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme, which seeks to promote nutrition, health and wellness of school-age children.
“With the partnership developed with the Nutrition and Food Science Department of the University of Ghana and the Ghana Education Service, the teachers received training and yearly refresher programmes from the University”.
According to Mr Femu, Nestlé-Ghana believed in promoting the well-being of people through its nutrition, health and wellness agenda and will provide educational programmes for good nutrition and feeding practices, which has become one of its core commitments on Nutrition.
In 2015, as part of the programme, teachers and children in Duabone Community in the East Agona District successfully piloted the school- based vegetable garden component of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme.
They planted okra, peppers and carrots under the supervision of the Department of Agricultural Extension of the University of Ghana.
The programme dubbed “Nestlé Healthy Kids” is a global programme, which aims at raising awareness about nutrition, health and wellness and promote physical activity among school children.
Nestlé is the first company in the country to introduce an intervention for nutrition education at primary-school level.
It started on a pilot basis in 2011 in selected cocoa growing districts of Juaboso and Agona East in the Western and Central Regions respectively and was expanded to cover Savelugu-Nanton, Kwahu North, Afram Plains and Adansi South/North in the Northern, Eastern and Ashanti regions respectively, in 2013.
Mr Fenu advised parents to be concerned about the nutrition and health needs of their children and also be more involved in educating their children on good nutrition to help them make appropriate choices in relation to eating healthy diets.
He said Nestlé-Ghana would develop the programme into an evidence-based, impactful initiative, which would contribute to the health of local school communities.
“Nestle-Ghana will also continue to develop new ways to measure the effectiveness of the programme”, he added.