World Vision Ghana urges stakeholders to sustain improved feeding practices project

World Vision Ghana

The (WVG) has implored stakeholders, including District Assemblies, , Directorates of Agriculture and Community Leaders to maintain the progress achieved in its Improved Feeding Practices for the First 1000 Days Project.   

According to Mr Joshua Baidoo, the Integrated Programmes Director of WVG, sustaining collaborative efforts would ensure access to improved nutrition and health for all Ghanaians.  

Mr Baidoo appealed when he was speaking at the closure of a durbar of the project held at Jema in the Kintampo South District of the Region. 

The project aimed to enhance feeding practices among 5,520 targeted women of reproductive age (including pregnant and lactating women) and 4,900 children under two (the so-called “first 1,000 days of life”) in three districts – Kassena Nankana and Sekyere East in the and Ashanti Regions respectively and Kintampo South.  

The project's implementation started in September 2020 and is expected to end in August 2023 in 70 communities across the three districts with Kintampo South having 21 beneficiary communities of the 70.   

The almost four-year project has distributed more than 5,000 poultry birds, 34,000 sweet potato vines, 2000 pawpaw and 3000 mango seedlings to about 340 farmers across all the project communities, alongside the provision of training on feeding practices and access to nutritional supplements (Kokoplus), delivery nutrition messages, dietary diversity, growth monitoring and promotion, safeguard, and grievance redress mechanism.   

Some partners of the project comprised Mother-to-Mother Support Groups, Male Champions, Agriculture Extension Agents, Community Health Workers, and Village-Based Entrepreneurs (VBEs).   

Mr Baidoo added anthropometric equipment had been supplied to the Ghana Health Service, including 33 electric scales, weighing scales, 66 Infantometers, 166 salter weighing scales, 24 Micro cuvettes, 16 Hemocues and 100 bicycles to community health volunteers.   

He explained the project's implementers utilised a comprehensive and multi-sectoral approach in partnership with communities, government institutions and community-based organizations (CBOs) to build local capacity and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project.   

Mr Baidoo stated the VBEs involved in the project would receive their savings as seed capital to continue supporting mothers with children under two years old.  

Madam Lubabatu Dawuda, the Kintampo South District Health Director and District Steering Committee Chairperson of the Project announced from the first quarter of 2020 to 2023, the district witnessed a remarkable reduction in the percentage of underweight children, decreasing from 3.4 to 0.09 per cent.  

She said the percentage of children aged between 12- and 59 months receiving Vitamin A increased significantly from 68.5 to 78.6 per cent, adding that haemoglobin levels of a greater number of pregnant women had been examined in the health facilities.  

Mad. Dawuda emphasised the Health Directorate would continue to collaborate with stakeholders, including community groups to sustain the progress achieved in previous years, to continuously improve the nutritional well-being of both children and mothers in the area. 

Later sharing experience gained from the project, Mad. Evelyn Akurugu, a beneficiary from Kwabia, a community in the district said she learned how to utilise nutritious local staples to prepare meals that supported the healthy growth and development of her children.   

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