Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister has commended the United States (US) Government for supporting nutrition services in the country. He said the US government, through its United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Advancing Nutrition project had built the capacity of health professionals and other community volunteers to make them more effective and efficient at providing appropriate nutrition services to women and children. He gave the commendation when he addressed stakeholders in Tamale to close-out the USAID/Advancing Nutrition project in the northern sector of the country. Alhaji Saibu said, ‘The Ghana Health Service (GHS), through the support of the project, has implemented a National Nutrition Policy and Action Plan, which are instrumental in improving nutrition outcomes in the regions.’ The event, organised under the theme: ‘Deepening the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Agenda: The USAID Advancing Nutrition Story’, brought together partners and stakeholders from all beneficiary Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Savannah and North East Regions. The USAID/Advancing Nutrition project collaborated with the various Regional Coordinating Councils with support from the National Development Planning Commission, GHS among other partners to complement the efforts of government to promote household resilience and early childhood growth and development. The three-year strategic project, which began with 17 districts, benefited 55 districts in the five regions. Mr Selorme Kofi Azumah, Chief of Party, USAID/Advancing Nutrition Ghana, during the event, said the project was implemented to achieve three main targets including, strengthening multi-sectoral nutrition planning, coordination, and financing, strengthen quality and reach of nutrition services, as well as strengthen community structures and behaviours. He said the project had supported the GHS to reach out to over 250,000 children under five years and over 120,000 pregnant women with nutrition services. He said the project had also strengthened the competencies of health workers in nutrition service delivery by training over 5,700 health workers in infant and young child feeding, anaemia prevention and control, community management of acute malnutrition, responsive care, and early learning. Mr Azumah added that over 60,000 community members were reached with messages on nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, and food safety. He said, ‘We have also strengthened the capacity of 340 village savings and loans associations and mother-to-mother support groups. We also supported 10,000 members of these groups to save over GHc3 million and invest in family nutrition and healthcare.’ Dr Abdulai Abukari, Northern Regional Director of Health said the project had specifically provided technical assistance and logistical support to the GHS in strengthening facility level nutrition service delivery and community level nutrition activities. He said the project had also supplied over 290,000 copies of the Maternal and Child Health Record Books and other logistics and trained health workers on their correct usage to improve quality of nutrition data. He lauded the efforts of the USAID/Advancing Nutrition Ghana and partners for implementing the project.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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