Municipal and District Assemblies in the Eastern Region have been asked to prioritize the construction of decent dining facilities in schools to augment the school feeding programme.
The current situation where children benefiting from the national programme eat under unhygienic conditions and under the mercy of the weather is not the best.
Mrs Eugenia Effah, Eastern Regional Coordinator of the School Health and Education Programme (SHEP) of the Ghana Education Service has said.
She observed that some of the school children sat close to dustbins or unhealthy available space to eat.
Shemade the call at a stakeholders’ meeting on School-Aged Nutrition Interventions organized by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in Koforidua as part of a broad consultation for operationalization of the interventions.
She noted that because there was no proper demarcated areas for eating, it was difficult to ensure hygienic practices such as washing of hands before eating and other eating manners among the children.
The School-Aged Nutrition Interventions is a scale up of the Girls Iron Folate Tablets (GIFT) programme at schools to address malnutrition and deficiencies in key vitamins needed for the healthy growth of children and adolescents.
Mrs Rhoda Kyei-Yamoah, Regional Nutrition officer of the GHS explained that the project sought to enhance the school feeding programme by introducing interventions such as fruits as part of the four-star diet nutrients for the beneficiary schools.
Others included in the Interventions are deworming, eye screening, vitamin A supplements and institution of health inspection and physical activity days in schools.
She urged parents to be mindful of the four-star diet which included fruits, vegetables, legumes and proteins to ensure healthy growth for their children at the developmental stages.
She added that the school feeding programme provided one meal in a day, therefore parents must endeavour to provide a balanced diet breakfast and supper to complement the nutritional needs of their wards.