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Regional News of Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Source: GNA

Northern Region makes progress in reversing acute malnutrition cases

Dr Akwasi Twumasi, Northern Regional Director of Ghana Health Service, has expressed gratitude to development partners for helping to reduce acute malnutrition cases, paving the way for many children to grow healthier.

He said the acute malnutrition cases in the region dropped from 21 per cent in 2011 to 18.3 per cent in 2012 while children born with low birth weight had also seen a decrease from 10.3 per cent in 2010 to 9.5 in 2011 and 8.7 per cent in 2012.

Dr Twumasi explained that the drop in the number of cases was as a result of many factors including the assistance of NGOs and other development partners who had supplied supplementary drugs to increase the nutritional content of children below the age of five.

He was speaking in Tamale on Tuesday during the presentation of assorted drugs by the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), an NGO interested in pursuing programmes to address the needs of children in deprived communities.

The organisation used the opportunity to present drugs including abendazole, ferrous sulphate, vitamin A supplement and multivitamins to children. Dr Twumasi said the drugs would contribute to the improvement of malnutrition cases.

Mrs Gifty Akosua Baka, Country Director of CCFC said the donation was meant to assist children, pregnant mothers to be healthy and empower them to make them achieve their dreams.

She said the mission of CCFC is to pursue the interest of children by providing services to enhance education, healthcare, nutrition, water and sanitation.

She said UNICEF estimates that 11 million children under the age of five in developing countries die from illnesses such as diarrhea, dehydration, acute respiratory infections, measles and malaria.

Mrs Baka appealed to the government to make the procedure of securing drugs at the ports tax free to enable NGOs and other charitable organisations to play their roles in boosting health care.