A multi-stakeholder forum has been inaugurated in the Obuasi Municipality to address malnutrition among children.
The Forum, put together by the Holystic Nutrition Organisation, an Obuasi based NGO dedicated to the welfare of children, is made up of decision-makers in the health, food and social protection systems.
Known as the Obuasi Multi-stakeholder Forum for Child Nutrition, members are expected to work together to fight against malnutrition and improve on the wellbeing of children.
Mr David Ameyaw, the Executive Director of Holystic Nutrition, said the Forum represented a critical milestone to sustain the war against malnutrition among children in the area.
He said the composition of the Forum was deliberately done to involve the decision-makers to help place emphasis on the consequences of malnutrition and the need to prioritise it to improve on the situation in the Adansi enclave.
The 2019 State of the World’s Children report indicated that at least one in three children under five, or over 200 million children worldwide are either undernourished or overweight.
In Ghana, close to one in every five children under five years is stunted while one in every 10 children under five is underweight.
Almost two in three children between six months and two years of age are not fed food that supports their rapidly growing bodies and brains.
This puts them at risk of poor brain development, weak learning, low immunity, increased infections and in many cases, death.
As the Cost of Hunger Report for Ghana 2016 reveals, Ghana loses 6.4 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product as a result of child undernutrition; hence the importance to make the fight against childhood malnutrition a priority.
Dr Kwadwo Anim, the Executive Director of AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Health Foundation, said the Forum had come at the right time to delve into malnutrition among children and expressed the optimism that it would strengthen the existing systems for efficient delivery.
Mr Omar Farouque, the Nutrition Officer of the Obuasi Municipal Health Directorate, lauded Holystic Nutrition for the vital role it was playing in the fight against malnutrition among children and said such issues needed a collective approach to address.
He said the Forum would help ensure that children who reported to health facilities malnourished could access appropriate nutritional therapy to save their lives.