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39% of Children in North Severely Malnourished

2007-11-12 15:56:37
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African Child
Thirty nine percent of children in nine communities in the northern part of the country are severely malnourished, according to a nutritional report. The report said 34 per cent of the children are stunting and 43 per cent are underweight as a result of the floods in the three regions in August and added that, the situation could worsen if the problem was not remedied.

Some of the communities were: Kanshegu, Guntingli, Bunglung, Kpalung, Kpalan Nambagla, Yemo, Langa and Tarikpaa according to the report which said, a nutritional assessment for children less than five years was ongoing to ensure that the medium and long-term effect of the disaster on the nutritional status of children were minimised. Mr Sofo Muntaru, Savelugu District Nutrition Officer made this known to newsmen who had visited Savelugu in the Northern Region on a UNICEF sponsored project to check on the situation and well-being of children in the communities in the wake of the floods which had a devastating effect on the communities.

He stated that UNICEF was supporting the assessment exercise and providing anti-malaria drugs and other nutritional supplements to boost the nutritional levels of children.

Mr Muntaru said the Ghana Health Service, UNICEF and other partners were also educating mothers on timely and appropriate complementary feeding and consumption of iodated salt. He said nursing mothers were also being encouraged to adopt exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and consume food based macronutrients rich in vitamins C.

On guinea worm infections, Mr Foster Soley, in charge of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the UNICEF, said the UNICEF, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other development partners had provided filters at banks of streams and ceramic filters in households to ensure the consumption of clean water. He stated that that UNICEF had also employed guards to ensure that those who fetched water from the streams used the filters to help reduce guinea worm infections.


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