In the Upper East Region, the Kassena-Nankana West District is one of the districts that are lagging in the nutrition indicators according to the Ghana Demographic and Health Surveillance Report 2022. 

According to the report, 4 out of every 10 children in the district are anaemic, 6 out of every 10 pregnant women are anaemic, 2 out of every 10 children are stunted and 1 of every 10 children is underweight. These indicators can be attributed to poverty among households to support pregnant women, lactating mothers, and babies born in the first 1,000 days with the right nutrients.

But World Vision Ghana through its ‘Improved Feeding Practices’ (IFP) project for the first 1,000 Days has reached out to over 1,000 children in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region with micronutrient supplements against childhood malnutrition.

Awurabena Quayeba Dadzie, Health and Nutrition Technical Manager at World Vision Ghana said the project since its inception 3 years ago has achieved its purpose.

“Looking at the indicators of this project, we have been able to reach over 1,000 children with micronutrients supplements (KOKO plus) and we have also been able to reach over 5,000 households with dietary diversity with support with the poultry and everything that will help them improve their nutrition”

These micronutrient supplements provided by the project contain vital nutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin A, and folic acid, which are essential for the healthy growth and development of children to help address the nutrient deficiencies that can lead to anaemia, stunting, and underweight in children.

In addition to providing the supplements, Mrs. Dadzi said the project educated parents and caregivers on the importance of proper nutrition for children. She mentioned that capacity building includes promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life, introducing a diverse and nutritious diet after six months, and ensuring that children have access to clean water and hygiene practices.

She said farmers were trained to cultivate Orange Flesh Sweet Potato (OFSP), mango, and moringa while some poultry farmers were supported with poultry birds.

“Every week, poultry farmers donate 2 pieces of eggs to the nurses at the health facility to be distributed to children during Child Welfare Clinics (CWC) and antennal clinics, where  the mothers go for antenatal and postnatal care. And this improved the protein intake of the children drastically and also improved the nutritional status of the children,” she added.

She was speaking at the Sirigu community in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region to officially close the project which was run concurrently in two other Districts; Kintampo South District and Sekyere East District.

Mrs. Dadzie was excited that the project which covered 70 communities with an estimated population of 84,354 in 16,442 households has over achieved its purpose in all the 3 districts.

“For the project, we have overachieved our purpose because if you look into our data now, we have over 10,000 children that have been supported with micronutrient supplements. If you look at our indicators, we were supposed to reach 4,600 children. So, we have overachieved our gains”

Even though the project has ended officially, she said it is expected for the beneficiary communities and the government agencies would sustain its gains for it to be able to scale up to other districts anytime there is funding support.

Dr. Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi, the Upper East Regional Health Director commended World Vision Ghana saying the project has contributed to a substantial increase in breastfeeding rate from 68 percent to 76.9 percent.

He said the capacity-building workshops for 20 health workers and 48 community volunteers in the district will go a long way to improve health delivery in the region.

“The data we have gathered demonstrates a positive outcome of our endeavours. We have witnessed a significant reduction in stunting from 1.6 percent to 0.6 percent. And also, wasting and underweight among children have been reduced from 745 to 256, reflecting the power of early nutrition interventions in preventing malnutrition and its long-term consequences”, he added.

For the sustainability of the project, he emphasised the need to leverage the achievements to advocate for policy changes at the regional and national levels to ensure the welfare of children remains a priority.

Paramount Chief of Sirigu, Naba Atogumdeya Roland Akwara III thanked World Vision Ghana for the transformational changes it brought to the communities.



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