Nutrition, a silent killer
Too many children in Ghana suffer from health issues stemming from malnutrition which is an underlying cause of one third of all child deaths. More than one in five children in Ghana is stunted (suffering from chronic malnutrition). The situation is worse in the Northern Region where 37 per cent of children are stunted due to childhood malnourishment. Latest available data shows that only 35 per cent of households are using salt that was adequately iodised. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of brain damage in the world. In addition, 57 per cent of children under five were found to be anemic. Iron deficiency anemia is a major threat to child health and a major cause of maternal mortality in young women who carry their anemia from childhood to adolescence.
What UNICEF is doingUNICEF is supporting the Ghana Health Service to scale up community level support to improve infant and young child feeding practices in all 10 regions of Ghana. UNICEF has also supported the Ghana Health Service to address severe acute malnutrition by scaling up of the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme in in the three Northern Regions. UNICEF in 2012 provided 435,000 sachets of ready-to-use, high calorie therapeutic food to treat severely malnourished children. The programme achieved a cure rate of 77%.