In 2023, the Tema General Hospital documented a total of 11 deaths among children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), commonly known as Kwashiokor. Ms Joyce Asare Kissi, the Head of the Nutrition Unit at the Hospital, revealed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency. These deaths occurred not only among in-patient care cases but also included children who had been discharged but passed away shortly thereafter.
The children who succumbed to SAM came from various areas, with three each from Tema Newtown and Kpone-Katamanso, and one each from Ashaiman Township, Ashaiman-Jericho, Dawhenya, and Tema Communities 25 and 22. Ms Kissi emphasized that Kwashiokor remains a significant health issue among children aged zero to five, often exacerbated by spiritual and cultural beliefs that delay seeking medical care until the condition worsens.
She urged parents and caregivers to prioritize spending time with their children and providing them with nutritious foods to prevent Kwashiorkor and associated health risks. Ms Kissi cautioned that children affected by Kwashiorkor are more susceptible to other childhood illnesses, which could lead to fatal outcomes.
Additionally, she advised parents managing children with Kwashiorkor at home to adhere strictly to the instructions provided by nutritionists to prevent relapses, complications, and ultimately, death.