Addressing Micronutrient Deficiency in Ghanaian Children

60 stakeholders from Ghana’s Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programme from national, regional, district and school levels across three regions of Ghana were recently trained on implementing a micronutrient intervention of the programme through the use of Micronutrient Powders (MNPs) to combat micronutrient deficiencies found in school-aged children in the intervention areas. 

The training, carried out by Ghana’s Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) and the Partnership for Child Development (PCD), taught participants how to correctly apply MNPs and outlined how to store the powders. The sessions which followed a “training of trainer’s” approach will see participants organise step down trainings for caterers and cooks in their consecutive districts so lessons learnt are widely disseminated.

Speaking at the training, GSFP National Coordinator, Mr. S.P Adamu lauded the numerous contributions of PCD towards supporting and improving the school feeding programme, particularly highlighting its input improving linkages between smallholder farmers and schools; the drafting of technical assistance documents; and the design of a Menu Planner Application which enables caterers to prepare appropriate menus with quantities necessary to meet schoolchildren’s recommended dietary intakes. 

During the training, participants also proposed various means of ensuring effective use of micronutrient powders through pupil and parent engagement and sensitisation.

Further training sessions have also been scheduled for Ghanaian regions Kumasi, Tamale and Bolgatanga and it is expected that by the end of these that all the key stakeholders in the school feeding programme will pass on their lessons learnt.

In addition to the micronutrient component of the programme, PCD will also be supporting the Ghanaian Government to put it place a Behaviour Change Communication which through the use of communications and media tools further promotes healthy eating habits among school children.