Accra, Aug 31, GNA - Dr Iyabode Olusanmi, UNICEF Representative in Ghana, has commended Ghana for its efforts in working to reduce stunted growth among children.
“In Africa, very few countries have made progress on stunting and Ghana is considered as one of the few with notable progress”, she said.
Dr Olusanmi, who was speaking during the closing of a three-day conference on stunted growth among children, called on African leaders to show more commitment towards the health of children to show that more progress was possible in Africa.
The conference which attracted participants from Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia was sponsored by the UNICEF as part of its efforts in helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals targets on child mortality.
She commended development partners such as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other partners for committing resources aimed at improving food security and nutrition in the country for the next five years.
“We have a vibrant academic group in Ghana which is contributing significantly to the global evidence on highly effective nutrition interventions” she said.
Dr Nune Mangasaryan, Research Officer at the UNICEF Headquarters, New York, cited reduced academic performance and irreparable damages in early period of life as some of the consequences of stunted growth in children.
“Others include increased issues of death in adulthood, and also increased risk of non communicable diseases in adult life” she added.
She mentioned poor nutrition among pregnant women and among children in their early stages of life as the main causes of stunted growth among children.
Dr Mangasaryan mentioned the rural population as those who usually suffered from stunted growth due to socio economic issues, poor dieting and access to good health -care.
She cited Ethiopia, Haiti, Nepal and Peru as countries with topmost issues of stunted growth among children.
Dr Frank Nyonator, acting Director-General, Ghana Health Services, expressed his appreciation to UNICEF for sponsoring the conference which had brought together stakeholders to deliberate on issues relating to child health.