The Upper East Regional Health Directorate is still struggling to reduce malnutrition figures.
[contextly_sidebar id=”4LEFbwOL6FcyCDCpjebWJaV7X4SmSTxp”]This, according to the region is due to the deep rooted cultural practices handed down to generations.
Upper East Regional Nutrition Officer, Gloria Kobati told Citi News, “most of them believe that malnutrition is not a sickness, it is either a witch that is bewitching the child or the child’s mother did something she was not supposed to do when she was pregnant.”
The Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions have some of the highest numbers of malnutrition in the country.
This is according to the World Food Organization.
A UNICEF multiple indicator cluster survey in 2011 put Upper East second on the chart of malnutrition indicators.
Currently, the region has 32 per cent of children who have stunted growth the highest per the WHO standards. A child with a stunted growth has a chronic malnutrition problem.
This means the child will not be able to meet his or her full growth potential.
Madam Kobati said it has been particularly difficult to diffuse these cultural practices which have been part of the people for generations.
She added that it is a common practice to find children being denied meat and egg for fear that they may grow up to became thief.
Citi News also found out that the colostrum of new mothers is seen as dirty and discarded. In some instances an ant is dropped in the breast milk to test is validity.
If the ant is able to swim out it mean the milk is potent if it dies the milk is considered contaminated and the child is prevented from suckling the breast.
Madam Kobati admonished traditional and religious leaders who are revered by women and men in the communities to get involved in efforts to eradicate mal nutrition.
By: Betty Kankam-Boadu/citifmonline.com/Ghana