Malnutrition In Ghana

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Malnutrition can be defined as a deficiency of essential nutrients or failure to use available foods to the best benefits (Barasi, 1997). Malnutrition generally affects all groups in a society, but infants and young children are the most susceptible because of their high nutritional requirements for growth and development. Malnutrition prevents children from accomplishing their complete physical and mental capabilities. Health and physical effects of extended states of malnourishment among children are: delay in their physical growth and motor growth; lower intellectual quotient (IQ), greater behavioural challenges and defective social skills; vulnerability to contracting diseases (FAO, 2010; Black et al, 2003). A well- nourished child is one…show more content…
However, Ghana as a country in the last decade, has not been able to reach health targets despite increasing investments into the sector. Ghana's Human Development Index (HDI), a measure combing life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living, has been deteriorating too; after improving from 0.444 in 1975 to 0.563 in 2001, the HDI fell to 0.520 in 2005 (Human Development Report, 2005). The 2003 Ghana Demographic Health Survey (DHS) final report (Ghana Statistical Service, 2004), recommended caution when using data from the various DHS to assess the trend on the nutritional status, it is noted that there was a trend over the past five years of increased stunting compared to a decrease of wasting and underweight. Further, there has been a trend of continued high values of stunting in the North compared to the South (Ghana Statistical Service, 2004; Shepherd et al., 2004). Under nutrition in the country has been most prevalent under the form of Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM), which results in growth retardation and…show more content…
Such children will have weight and height measurements that compare very well with the standard normal distribution of heights (H) and weights (W) of healthy children of the same sex and age. Factors that influence malnutrition are numerous and varied. The principal causes of malnutrition, as conceptualized by a number of authors relate to inadequate food consumption, severe and recurring infections, or a combination of the two (UNICEF, 1998; Grummer-Strawn, 1996). The relations of these conditions with the nutritional status and complete health of the child- and by extension - of the populations in which the child is raised up have been shown in the UNICEF Conceptual framework of child survival (UNICEF, 1998). These very factors impact the growth of children. Therefore, the assessment of children’s growth is an appropriate guide for examining the wellbeing of children, and as well as for assessing household’s access to food, health and care. Malnutrition presents render children susceptible to numerous complications that arise due to the lack of nutrients in various forms. For example, anaemia is a widespread complication in the developing

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