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Health News of Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Source: GNA

Ghana's nutritional progammes under scrutiny


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As part of the South-South Peer Review initiative, a seven-man team from Gambia visited Ghana to review the country’s nutritional programmes and policies.

The South-South peer review (SSPR) was an initiative of Ghana, Burkina Faso and the Gambia under the recommendation of West African Health Organization (WAHO) and the World Bank (WB), for countries to visit and review each other's activities and policies.

The SSPR initiative which was funded by the World Bank’s South-South Experience Exchange Trust Fund, was being piloted in Ghana, Burkina Faso, the Gambia and Senegal.

Participating countries were expected to exchange visits, with delegations making field trips to operational sites with focus on conducting a “SWOT” (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of host countries.

The exchange visit focuses on the policy context of a country, its programme performance, management capacity, flow of funds and financial management, institutional arrangements and financial capacity.

The seven-man Gambian delegation who visited Ghana, commended Ghana’s draft nutrition policy, saying it was multi-sectoral and addressed almost all areas of nutrition, except for some few loop-holes, and advised that the draft policy on nutrition should be confirmed quickly in order to allocate a special budget to help reduce malnutrition in the country.

The delegation, led by the Executive Director of the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), Pa Modou Phall, called stakeholders to support government and the ministry of health in the implementation of nutritional policies and programme to reduce malnutrition rates among the populace.

Speaking in an interview with the GNA, Pa Modou Phall, Executive Director of NaNA, also recommended that Ghanaians grow more vegetables and fruits in their gardens so that it would be in abundance and less expensive.

“Ghana as a country can reduce malnutrition if each and every one can eat at least one fruit a day.” He added.

Dr. Gloria Quansah Asare, Director Family Health Division, Ghana Health Service, commended the Gambian team for a good work done.

According to Dr Asare, the priority was pregnant women and children under the age two (2) because any deficiency caused during the first days of a child cannot be corrected.

She however advised lactating mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months.

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