Malnutrition is responsible for nearly all half of deaths of children under five worldwide and, along with poor diets, is the main driver of disease, the 2016 Global Nutrition Report said.
Ghana economy's is losing more than two billion dollars a year due to the impact of child malnutrition, which has driven up healthcare costs, strained the education system and hindered the productivity of the workforce, a study said. Malnutrition comes in many forms, such as poor child growth and development or vulnerability to infection among those who do not get enough food, which is known as undernutrition.
Undernutrition among children costs Ghana $2.6 billion per year - 6.4 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) - according to a study led by the African Union and backed by U.N. aid agencies and the African Development Bank. Stunted growth, which occurs when children miss out on vital nutrients in the womb and their first two years of life, is the biggest concern, said the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study, which has been carried out in 12 other African nations.
A third of adults in Ghana suffered from stunting as children, and that child mortality linked to undernutrition has reduced Ghana's workforce by seven percent.
"In northern Ghana, 30 percent of children under five are stunted or chronically malnourished," said WFP deputy regional director for West and Central Africa, Margot van der Velden. "This not only affects their growth but also their educational development and economic potential, and consequently the future of the country," she added in a statement.
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