The Paediatric Society of Ghana has issued a pressing call to the government, urging for immediate resource allocation to combat the pervasive issue of malnutrition in children. Dr. Hilda Mantebea Boye, the president of the society, emphasized that malnourished children pose a significant threat to national development, highlighting the urgent need for intervention.
Dr. Boye stressed that malnutrition transcends mere health concerns, presenting a multifaceted challenge with far-reaching implications across all sectors of society. She underscored its detrimental impact on progress and emphasized the crucial role of addressing malnutrition in realizing sustainable growth and development.
This call was made during the Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM) of the Paediatric Society of Ghana, held in Ho, Volta Region. The theme of the three-day meeting, “The economic and social impact of child malnutrition on Ghana’s long-term development,” reflected the gravity of the issue and the imperative for concerted action.
The AGSM brought together a diverse array of healthcare professionals, including consultant pediatricians, senior resident pediatricians, medical officers, senior specialists, and pediatric and general nurses from all 16 regions of the country. Through rigorous discussions, empirical analysis, and engagement with stakeholders from various sectors, participants explored innovative strategies to address the pressing challenge of child malnutrition.
The meeting served as a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and the development of practical solutions to curb the detrimental effects of poor nutrition among children. The collective efforts of stakeholders across sectors are essential in effectively addressing this critical issue and ensuring the well-being and future prosperity of Ghana’s children.
During the Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM) of the Paediatric Society of Ghana, a diverse range of topics related to child health and development were discussed, reflecting the multifaceted nature of challenges faced by children in the country.
One significant focus was on the epidemic of childhood obesity and micronutrient deficiencies, highlighting the dual burden of malnutrition and overnutrition among Ghanaian children. Discussions likely revolved around strategies to promote balanced nutrition and address lifestyle factors contributing to obesity.
Another important topic addressed was parental knowledge of childhood development milestones in the Ashanti Region, emphasizing the role of caregivers in supporting optimal child development. Participants likely explored methods to enhance parental awareness and engagement in monitoring children’s developmental progress.
The measles outbreak in northern Ghana during 2022-2023 was also a subject of discussion, underscoring the importance of vaccination programs and disease surveillance to prevent and control infectious diseases among children.
Furthermore, presentations on the differences in the inferior vena cava diameter of dehydrated children, acute malnutrition, and development surveillance in children under five provided insights into clinical aspects of pediatric care and diagnostic approaches.
Dr. Hilda Mantebea Boye, the President of the Paediatric Society of Ghana, reiterated the persistent challenge of malnutrition in the country despite efforts to address it. She emphasized the detrimental impact of malnutrition on human capital development, perpetuation of poverty cycles, and overall societal well-being.
Professor Fred N. Binka, the Foundation Vice-Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), highlighted the importance of antenatal care for pregnant women and emphasized the role of adequate nutrition during pregnancy in promoting healthy birth outcomes.
Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, emphasized the government’s commitment to addressing child malnutrition through evidence-based interventions and collaborative efforts with stakeholders, acknowledging the significant economic and health implications of malnutrition in Ghana.
Overall, the AGSM provided a platform for dialogue, knowledge sharing, and collaborative action to address the complex challenges impacting child health and development in Ghana.