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Health News of Friday, 26 February 2010

Source: GNA

Eight districts have highest prevalence of malnutrition

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Koforidua, Feb 26, GNA - New Juaben, Akuapem North, Akwapim South, West Akyem, Kwaebibirem, Upper Manya, Suhum Kraboa Coaltar, Kwahu North and Kwahu West have been identified to have the highest prevalence of malnutrition in children.

These eight districts in the Eastern Region recorded more than 10 percent of cases of malnutrition in children resulting in severe stunted growth, especially in the Akuapem North, Akuapem South and the Kwaebibirem districts.

Statistics obtained by the GNA from the Regional Nutrition Officer, Mr Bismark Sarkodie, said almost all the districts in the region recorded between 6-10 percent prevalence of malnutrition. As a result, community based growth intervention activities had been embarked upon to empower parents on the need for nutritional foods that are not expensive.

Mr Sarkodie said as part of the intervention, the Ghana Health Service was collaborating with agricultural extension officers in the remote areas where prevalence was high to educate farmers on what to grow to address the problem. He said the Ghana Demographic Health Survey report had showed that 38 percent of children in the region were stunted due to malnutrition.

Mr Sarkodie said the high prevalence of malnutrition had several factors such as low intake of nutritional adequate foods, ignorance, poverty, myths and beliefs on the part of parents and guardians. He said purchasing of wayside foods by children in the new Juaben municipality is a contributing factor for malnutrition in the children since those foods are made for adults.

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