Health staff at the Saint Lucy Polyclinic at Kpalsi, and Kalpohin Health Centre in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region have been commended for their knowledgeable, compassion and dedication to duty.

Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan, who is also World Food Programme (WFP) Special Advisor on Mother and Child Health and Nutrition, commended the staff of both facilities, and said such qualities were essential to ensure the well-being of mothers and children in the area.

Business24

She was speaking after she and Mr Paul Kiernan, a WFP Executive Board Member and Permanent Representative of Ireland to the Rome-based agencies visited the two facilities on Tuesday to abreast themselves of WFP’s innovative private-sector centred nutrition programme under which high-quality specialised nutritious foods produced in Ghana, are used to prevent stunting and micronutrient deficiencies.

Princess Zeid and Mr Kiernan were accompanied on the field visit by Ms Noemi Renzetti, Partnerships Officer, WFP Nutrition Division, Mr Peter Musoko, WFP Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Mr George Fominyen, West and Central Africa, Regional Communication Officer, Ms Rukia Yacoub, WFP Ghana Representative and Country Director and Ms Vera Boohene, WFP Ghana Partnerships and Communications Officer.

The visit was also to find out how the WFP-assisted nutrition programme successfully involved local private sector agro-processing firms and to understand what kind of support could be provided to enable them establish effective, sustainable, market-driven nutrition value chains capable of producing international rated, quality, affordable specialised nutritious foods for Ghana and other West African countries.

The WFP-assisted nutrition programme provides a platform for comprehensive services in a single location; ante-natal and post-natal care, vaccinations, screenings, social and behaviour change communication, nutrition counselling, registration, using WFP’s SCOPE tool to effectively manage beneficiaries, and access to the retailers to redeem their entitlements using an e-voucher system.

Princess Zeid also commended WFP’s partners on the nutrition programme for their efforts to provide the nutritious foods to energize the children to grow well.

She described her experience with mothers during the visit to the two facilities saying “In speaking with the mothers, they asked questions to gain more knowledge about the welfare of their children, which was wonderful.”

She said “Mothers expect to have healthy pregnancies, to be able to care for their children, raise healthy children, who are safe and educated and to have a future ahead of them.”

She called for more action to ensure the well-being of mothers and their babies, saying “To reach the Sustainable Development Goals, we have to prioritize and focus on the health and well-being of women and girls, who bear the greatest responsibility often for raising families and communities.”

Staff at the two health facilities took turns to explain their operations to the visiting team, saying the WFP-assisted nutrition programme at the facilities had helped to among others improve attendance by mothers to the facilities, which was ensuring the well-being of mothers and their babies.

The visiting team later paid a courtesy call on the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, to brief him about their mission in the region.

Mr Saeed Expressed appreciation to the WFP for its support for mother and child health initiatives and human rights in the region, and called for more support in the area of nutrition to improve cognitive development of children.

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