Media urged to support Nutrition Friendly School Initiative

Ho, Oct. 12, GNA- Mr Nutifafa Glover, Volta Regional Nutrition Officer, has called on the media to support the Nutrition Friendly School Initiative (NFSI) to ensure its success.

He said the success of the initiative required a collaborative effort from all stakeholders, hence the call on the media to assist by educating the public on the essence of the project for them to support it.

Mr Glover said this during a training programme organised by the Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service in Ho, for some selected health personnel and some teachers from 41 basic schools.

The training was to equip the participants with the necessary knowledge regarding the Initiative and build their capacity towards implementation of the programme in their various schools.

Mr Glover disclosed that they started the implementation of the programme with 24 basic schools in March last year after it was introduced in February same year.

The Nutrition Officer said currently a total of 107 schools within the eighteen municipal and district assemblies of the Volta region were beneficiaries of the project.

He said a total of 201 schools were also currently undergoing training to be added to the programme, with necessary steps also being taken to pilot the programme in three senior high schools.

Mr Glover said the programme was being spearheaded by the Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Service with funding from UNICEF.

The programme aimed at promoting healthy nutrition habits, hygiene and sanitation and physical activities in a safe school environment and ensure good health of the young growing population of the country.

He underscored the importance of the programme in improving the nutritional and health status of school children from kindergarten to senior high and reducing non communicable diseases in the future.

The programme also provided an opportunity for school children to learn about the four-star diet, build a culture of good health among them and ensure that food vendors did not sell unhealthy food to school children, he said.

Madam Millicent Dakeh, Volta Regional Girls' Education Officer, said the NFSI had packages of interventions including fruit and vegetable days, egg days, physical activity day, SMART School, girls iron and folic acid days, health inspection days.

She said schools were practical platforms where an integrated package of interventions including nutrition meals, micronutrient supplements, infection control, health promotion could be delivered to improve the health and nutrition of school children.

Madam Dakeh said Ghana was faced with a triple burden of malnutrition- underweight, overweight or obesity and micronutrient deficiencies, and called for investment in nutrition to address the situation.

The Girls' Education Officer said investment in nutrition of school age and adolescents could have a positive impact on their current and future nutrition status and improve their learning ability.

It can also help establish positive dietary and healthy practices that extend into adulthood and help break the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition, she added.