(UER), Nov 29, GNA - A new nutrition programme aimed at improving the
nutritional status of school children was on Friday launched in the Bongo
District of the Upper East Region.
Under the Programme, Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) would be used as a tool targeting 22 communities where the Ghana School Feeding Programme was ongoing.
MIHOSO International, an NGO, is charged with the responsibility to implement the programme in the District, and it is funded by the Dubai Care Nutrition Project.
Launching the project at a Stakeholder’s meeting in Bongo, the Deputy Director of MIHOSO International in charge of Policy Planning , Monitoring and Evaluation , Mr Pontius Ninwiiri, explained that the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) was set up to among other reasons, reduce hunger and malnutrition, increase school enrolment and attendance, and to boost domestic food production.
He noted that notwithstanding the fact that some gains had been chalked, there were still more left to be done and stated that to help address the issue the Partnership for Child Development (PCD) secured funding from Dubai Cares to help the Government of Ghana strengthen the nutrition component of the programme.
He explained further that the four year project was aimed at supporting the education, health and nutrition of school age children living in poverty and food insecure areas.
“To enhance the benefits that communities and school children will derive from this project, MIHOSO International as an implementing partner is focusing on one out of the three objectives of the project which is Behaviour Change Communication,” he told the stakeholders.
Mr Ninwiiri indicated that the BCH is further divided into two components including Mass Media Campaign and Interpersonal Communication and noted that the role of his outfit was to work through community nutrition volunteers to educate 22 selected project communities in the Bongo District.
He stated that his outfit would also act as an intermediary between PCD and the GSFP and the project communities as well as train and support, manage and supervise Community Nutrition Volunteers who had been recruited within the project communities to engage the communities on healthy eating and healthy lifestyles issues.
The Deputy Director noted that caterers of the GSFP would not be left out and stated that the project would ensure that quality and nutritious food was provided to the school children.
Mr Thomas Abamgbire, a regional focal person of MIHOSO International, pointed out that the BCC would also target market women, Churches, Mosques and private homes.
The stakeholders who were made up of the Ghana Health Service, Nutrition Office Volunteers, Public Health Nurses, faith based organizations, traditional rulers, officials of the Social Welfare Department and civil society organizations pledged their support in the implementation process.