Yendi (N/R), May 21, GNA – Malnutrition is on the rise in the Yendi Municipality as 49.2 per cent of pregnant women in the Municipality were anaemic in 2017 as against the 2016 figure, which stood at 45per cent.
The situation amongst children under-five years in the Municipality is also not the best as underweight stood at 27.6 per cent, wasting stood at 21.4 per cent and low birth weight stood at nine per cent in 2017.
Mr Mark Atoobey, Nutrition Officer at the Yendi Municipal Health Directorate, who announced this, said the situation presented risks for pregnant women as well as implications such as poor health and poor academic performance for the affected children.
He was speaking at a community facts finding mission held at Nkwanta and Gbungbalga communities in the Yendi Municipality to discuss issues of malnutrition in those communities, establish the immediate causes of the situation at household, community and state service provider levels.
This would help chart a path in galvanizing community action in demanding for better service delivery to address the situation.
The community facts finding mission was organized by the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) in partnership with Northern Development Society (NORDESO) as part of the Voices for Change Partnership programme (V4C).
The V4C highlights issues of food and nutrition, post-harvest losses, water, sanitation and hygiene and clean energy.
Mr Atoobey attributed the rising cases of malnutrition in the Municipality to lukewarm attitude of especially some pregnant women towards nutritional programmes implemented in the area.
The Yendi Municipal Health Directorate implements various nutritional programmes where it provides nutrition counselling as well as supplies nutritious supplements to pregnant women, adolescent girls and children to improve their nutritional status.
Mr Mark Atoobey said some members in the Municipality associated malnourishment to spiritual forces, whiles others held myths about the nutritional programmes implemented, hence their lukewarm attitude towards such programmes.
He, therefore, advised all to patronize the nutritional programmes to help address malnutrition in the Municipality.
Mr Simon Blason, Secretary to the Chief of Nkwanta summarized the concerns of people of the area, saying poverty amongst the people, poor knowledge on nutrition and taboos preventing pregnant women from consuming certain foods were responsible for the high cases of malnutrition in the area.
Miss Sandra Mensah, Gender Programmes Officer of NORDESO impressed on government to promote the cultivation of more nutritious crops and their consumption to improve the nutritional status of especially children.