The nutrition Department of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has launched the Ghana Nutrition Scorecard to help deal with malnutrition challenges in the country.
The project, with support from the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) will, among other things identify nutrition problems; root causes and highlight Ghana’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) target for the wellbeing of the people.
The software, which has been designed for continuous update, is an important source of aggregated information for effective monitoring and evaluation to combat malnutrition.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General, GHS, in a speech read on his behalf at the launch, said it would enhance management decision, accountability, and drive action.
He said the trends in nutritional indicators such as stunting, food waste, micro nutrition deficiency, obesity, diet related non communicable disease were increasing hence, the need for strategic targeting to bridge the gaps, scale up effective priority interventions and increase coverage of proven intervention.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye urged the Nutrition Department of the GHS to lead and own the implementation process and ensure that the design of the tool was well documented as a potential best practice for adoption and scaling up for development.
He noted that pregnant women, children, and adolescent nutrition health had over the years continuously received the attention of the global community and stated the commitment of the Service to those identifiable groups.
The government through the Ministry of Health and the GHS has supported the formulation and implementation of important policies and legislation as well as the implementation of evidence-based interventions, related to nutrition across the country.
These interventions have resulted in significant improvement as reflected in several nutrition indicators over the last few decades.
The scorecard is expected to reduce under nutrition in vulnerable households.
The Director General expressed gratitude to ALMA and its health partners for their support in designing the Nutrition Scorecard and helping the GHS to deliver on its mandate.
Mrs Veronica Quartey, the Acting Deputy Director of Nutrition, GHS, said the scorecard would help engage other sectors to accelerate improvements in nutritional status and nutrition services provided at all contact points.
It would also help adopt an effective strategy that would stimulate accountability, prudent management, and initiatives by health management at all levels.
“With support from ALMA, the nutrition scorecard would promote data utilisation and improvement on routine data quality”, she added.
ALMA, UNICEF, World Health Organisation (WHO), USAID and the World Food Programme pledged their support for the nutrition action drive in the country. -GNA