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Health News of Friday, 1 June 2012

Source: GNA

Malnourished children linked to teenage pregnancies

The high rate of teenage pregnancies in the Cape Coast Metropolis has greatly contributed to the increasing percentage of malnourished children in the Cape Coast Metropolis.

Mr. Samuel Sosi, Metropolitan Director of Health who announced this on Friday explained that, most of the pregnant teenage girls come from poor homes and are therefore unable to cater for themselves let alone their babies.

At the review of ‘Nutrition and malaria control for child survival Project’ by the District Advisory Committee in Cape Coast, Mr Sosi advised pregnant women and the public to take their nutrition concerns seriously.

The Child Survival Project is a child survival intervention instituted by the Ministry of Health to facilitate the reduction of nutrition related mortality among children, particularly those under two years.

A six-member Committee made up of members drawn from among others, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Education Ministry and the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly is to ensure the effective execution of the project in the various communities.

Some of the beneficiary districts include Adisadel sub-district, made up of about seven communities, Ewim sub-district which has three communities, UCC and Efutu sub-districts.

Mrs Kate Essien, Metropolitan Nutrition Officer, said under the Project a total of 6,251 children had been registered from 88 communities with 6135 of the number being under two years from January to April this year.

She said of the number, 842 of the children had inadequate growth whilst 1,640 of the registered number were absent during the growth promotion sessions.

She said 134 volunteers had been recruited in 26 communities where community-based growth promotion home visits are carried out to check up on mothers and their babies registered under the project.

Mrs Essien outlined some of the challenges the Project was facing as inadequate supply of logistics, inaccurate reporting by volunteers, as well as high absenteeism of under two-year children in growth promotion sessions.

On the way forward, she said the Health Directorate would strengthen supportive visits to growth promotion sessions to help curb malnutrition cases in the Metropolis.**

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