In relation to an earlier post about improving child health care in Ghana, the Ghana Health Service has recently revealed the results of a survey they conducted on child nutrition. The Ghana Health Services, in partnership with USAID and the United Nations, conducted this survey in 2011. One of the results of the survey was the distressing statistic that 12,000 children in Ghana die each year because they are underweight.
The survey also projected that approximately 97,000 children would die between 2011 and 2020 due to stunting. Stunted growth is the result of malnourishment, either from not getting enough food or not getting a balanced diet, and children are especially vulnerable during their first two years of life.
In addition to causing stunting, under-nutrition also impairs children’s immune systems, making them at greater risk for other infections, illness, and death. According to the study, under-nutrition was related to half of all child deaths after early infancy. The Deputy Director of Nutrition at the Ghana Health Service, Mrs. Wilhemina Okwabi, stated that 8 in 10 children in Ghana experienced some form of under-nutrition.
The disheartening results of this survey are a testament to why the Lawra Nutrition Center is so important. Keep watching for more updates on the progress of the construction.