MALNUTRITION IN CHILDREN COSTING GHANA 211 MILLION USD A YEAR

Child malnutrition, which affects their health and education, is costing Ghana some 4.6 billion cedi (about 211 million US dollars) a year, according to a study by the National Development Planning Commission.

The study also found that positioning nutrition interventions as a top priority for poverty reduction and broad-based development was often difficult because of lack of data on the short and long-term returns.

Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, the Vice-Chairperson of the National Development Planning Commission, launched the report of the study, entitled The Cost of Hunger in Africa: ‘The case of Ghana’, here Thursday. The study was supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA), the African Union (AU) Commission and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The report is aimed at assisting African countries in establishing the social and economic impact of under-nutrition on children for national development.

The report said for children, especially from poor households, under-nourishment had adverse implications for their school and for workers, it reduced productivity, earnings and household welfare.

Stunting (low height for age) is as a result of children missing out on critical nutrients, including proteins, vitamins and minerals while in the womb and in the first two years of life.

The report revealed that 37 per cent of the adult population of Ghana suffered from stunting as children, 24 per cent of all child mortality cases are associated with under-nutrition and child mortality associated with under nutrition has reduced workforce by 7.3 per cent.

The report recommended the establishment of a multi-sectorial policy approach for a concerted fight against malnutrition while improving the co-ordination of interventions.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK