The First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has made a clarion call for stakeholders to take action towards ending children dying from malnutrition, malaria or other preventable illness in Ghana.
She said the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the current nutrition crisis due to the disruption in the food supply system hence the need to fast truck actions to salvage the situation.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo was speaking at the Nutrition Advocate Event which brought stakeholders together to deliberate on improving the nutrition, health, survival and development of women.
The First Lady commended the good initiative from the health sector ” Start Right Feed Right” Campaign that has help to improve the quality of children’s diet to keep the country on the path to meeting the global nutrition targets.
She pledged her support to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by ensuring the decline in the prevalence of malnutrition and its resultant ill- health and death among children.
“I wish to restate my resolve that, no child should die from malnutrition, malaria or other preventable illness in Ghana. So together with Malaria Prevention Foundation, our partners and stakeholders, I stand committed to the task that is ahead of us”, she said.
She, again, urged all stakeholders to help in the strengthening of school-based interventions like the provision of safe portable water, health, nutrition, hygiene and infection prevention education.
Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in his remarks said in order for the country to achieve its objective of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which is Goal three of the SDGs and other equally important goals, the government is ensuring a robust health insurance system, strengthening the implementation of policies such as the free maternal health care services to benefit women and children largely and by extension the entire population.
“We do recognise that the determinants of maternal and child health and nutrition are complicated and delivering on our set goals is beyond what the government alone can do, collaboration with other all stakeholders and the traditional and community leaders is critical to success,” he said.
Mr Agyeman-Manu stressed that the country’s national response has been to focus on scaling up cost effective interventions, innovations, improved accountability and governance, advocacy and health system strengthening.
“Government is working tirelessly to ensure equitable distribution of a competent health workforce and improve the health infrastructure,” he added.
Director General, Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, indicated that the country’s Maternal Child Health and Nutrition situation has evolved over the years evidently showing in the incremental improvement recorded with regards to access and quality of health services particularly for mothers, children and adolescents.
“In order to continue in the current trajectory of reducing the situation regarding stunting, wasting and anaemia and explore actions that will focus on addressing overweight and obesity and the potential effects on non-communicable diseases, it goes without saying that community level actions are important,” he said.
He said the resolve of the service to improve the nutrition status and survival of women and children is guided by the knowledge that investing in maternal and child health feeding, present both short term and long term benefits which are vital to the development. Our focus today is certainly in line with this and will contribute to pushing these programs forward.