Over 13,000 children in three districts of Ghana have benefited from World Vision Ghana’s ‘Improved Feeding Practices (IFP) for the first 1,000 Days’ project, which seeks to mitigate malnutrition challenges.
These children who are under the age of two from the Kassena Nankana West District, Sekyere East District, and Kintampo South District saw their quality of diet improve through the distribution of nutritional supplements.
In addition, over 104,229 women, adolescents, men from these areas also benefited from nutrition messaging which includes ways on how to administer exclusive breastfeeding, the timely introduction of complementary feeding and hygiene,among others.
The three-year IFP project impacted 4,800 households in 70 communities, costing $3.4 million, and was funded by the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF), World Bank, and World Vision Japan, among other partners including the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service, and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Madam Laura Cristina DelValle, the National Director of World Vision Ghana, stated in her address at a National Closure event in Accra that the project has made significant strides in the three districts over the past three years.
“We believe that successes, achievements, and lessons will help existing and future programmes, strategies, and policies. I hope our deliberations will help sustain and scale up nutrition initiatives and ensure healthy and sustainable food systems, achieving sustainable development goals one, two and three. As such, I encourage everyone to be active participants in the discussions.
“I would like to acknowledge the immense support from our donors and also thank the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Steering Committees for their immeasurable support to ensure the smooth running of the project,” she said.
Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, stressed the importance of improved feeding practices in the first 1000 days of the child in order to foster better growth.
“As a health sector, we are very interested in the first 1000 days of a child, and we have initiated various programmes to ensure that they receive adequate nutrition at this crucial stage, which could have a significant effect on their future,” he said.
Mr. Aboagye further stated that despite the sustained economic growth, the problem of malnutrition remains high in Ghana, and massive intervention has to be undertaken as they are always willing to partner with the private sector to mitigate the challenges.
He commended World Vision Ghana for undertaking the Improved Practices for the first 1000 days project successfully and urged communities to sustain the programme to ensure continuity and improve dietary diversity.
Mr. Mochizuki Hisanobu, Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, expressed commitment to support deprived communities and improve lives with similar initiatives to help improve wellbeing of women and children, while helping Ghana achieve Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 3, which seek a world free of hunger, ensure healthy lives, and promote well-being for all by 2030.