Ghana spends US$2.6 Billion annually to combat malnutrition
Many believed that African countries ignore child malnutrition which has been confirmed to be a major cause of death amongst the less privileged. Ghana has been reported to spend billions of GHC on children with malnutrition yearly.
Recently, Mr Mohammed Hashim Abdullah, the Mion District Chief Executive (DCE) confirmed that Ghana spends GHC4.6 billion annually to fight child malnourishment, a situation impacting negatively on the country’s economy. He further said that the investment has brought about a reduction in the number of children with malnourishment in the northern region of the country.
Hashim further said that they needed to invest on this in order to experience economic growth:
“Social and Economic Impact of Child Under-nutrition on Ghana’s Long-Term Development report indicates that the economy of Ghana is spending some GHC4.6 billion, approximately US$2.6 billion or 6.4 per cent of GDP every year to the effects of child nutrition. It is important to tackle this in order to experience development”.
It was reported that he said this at the launch of the Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) ‘Fighting Child Hunger Project’ at Sang in the Mion District of the Northern Region.
The programme organized by the Community Livelihood Improvement Project (CLIP) under the GDCA was on the theme: “Fighting Child Hunger, a Responsibility for all” and was aimed among others, at reducing hunger experienced particularly in children and women in the Northern Region due to poverty. This programme was reported to have gone a long way to educate people on the need to combat malnutrition. The programme also created an avenue for awareness on malnutrition and how to assist the situation.
In addition, Mr Abdullah said available statistics showed that one out of three children in the Northern Regions was malnourished due to inadequate balanced diet intake within 1,000 days of life which affected the child’s normal growth both physically and mentally. The northern region has raised concern which is presently being tackled.
Further more, he stated that malnutrition will no doubt affect the child’s academic performance and also the end productivity of that child. This will however result to incapable citizens.
Mr Abdullah said the “Fighting Child Hunger Project” was also a replica of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) in several aspects, which emphasized on addressing the chronic and hidden hunger children suffered in the Northern Region due to poverty, lack of knowledge about their nutritional needs and socio-cultural beliefs that prevented children from eating certain foods. The programme was reported to be an eye opener to some hidden facts that cause malnutrition.
In response to combatting malnutrition in Ghana, Alhaji Osman Abdel-Rahman, the Executive Director of the GDCA, said plans were in place to establish a soya bean processing factory at Sang to produce soya bean oil and blend to empower women economically and provide jobs for the youth. This is a great way to combat malnutrition and Ghanaians look forward to seeing such factory soon.
Also, he expressed the hope that the assembly would support the establishment of the factory and would embrace it in line with the government’s ‘one district, one factory policy’.
GDCA has the vision to empower and create a happy society in harmony with the environment. It is believed that society can be happy if needs are made available. The act of combating hunger has attracted applauds from different sectors of the country. Many believe that if hunger is tackled, economic development will prevail.