Poor eating habit among Ghanaians affecting productivity, economic growth…as GCCFSN advocates for effective implementation of nutrition policy

Date: Friday July 12, 2019, 7:05 am

By: WatchGhana.Com

The National Convener - Edward Ayabilah
The Ghana Civil Society Coalition in Food Security and Nutrition (GCCFSN) has observed that for Ghana to increase the pace of socio-economic development, there is the need for government to strongly focus on human development, including investing in nutrition of its citizens, particularly women and children.
According to GCCFSN, despite appreciable reductions in malnutrition rates in Ghana significant number of people, especially women and children are still affected by micro-nutrient deficiencies, stunting and emerging issue of over-nutrition that ultimately undermine their health and development.
GCCFSN has therefore called for a comprehensive and integrated approach for planning and implementation of nutrition policy to address the multiple and diverse factors affecting nutrition.
At a press conference in Sunyani, the National Convener of GCCFSN, Edward Ayabilah said malnutrition is recognized as a major impediment to socio-economic development at both individual and national level.
File Photo: Malnourished child
Mr Ayabilah noted that when citizens are poorly nourished, their cognitive and physical performance is compromised and productivity is ultimately impaired. He said progress on reducing child mortality has not been sufficient although levels of malnutrition in Ghana have dropped. “23% of children are stunted and 57% are anemic, nutrition is particularly poor in Northern Ghana, where almost two in every five children are stunted and more than 80% of children suffer from anaemia”. Mr Ayabilah said improving the nutrition of the people of Ghana, especially that of women and children, is not only key to increasing their survival and achieving the SDGs, but a critical element for the healthy human capital essential for Ghana’s economic growth and development. “The consequences of poor nutrition go far beyond the increased risk of illness and death in children, and complications during pregnancy and delivery. Poor nutrition in childhood contributes to irreversible reduced intelligence, low economic productivity later in life and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood.’ he asserted. It is for these reasons that, he said government has to develop a comprehensive nutrition strategy that will ensure optimal nutrition and health of all persons living in Ghana, to enhance capacity for sustainable economic growth and development. The National Convener said the Ghana Coalition of CSOs in Food Security and Nutrition has identified limited integration of nutrition in all relevant sectors such health, food and agriculture, water and sanitation as some key gaps in the nutrition area. He also mentioned poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation which negatively affect proper nutrition and food security. Open defecation, use of contaminated water, improper sanitation facilities, and inappropriate waste disposal often affect food production. Mr Ayabilah revealed that one of the objective of GCCFSN is to promote food security, food quality, and food safety at the individual, household, community and national levels. GCCFSN is a platform CSOs working food security and nutrition that aim at creating an enabling environment for the effective co-ordination, integration, and implementation of nutrition programmes in Ghana among NGOs and development partners.  

Source: WatchGhana.Com

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