The people of Pishigu in the Karaga District of the Northern Region on 21st April 2022 bore witness to a new project launch dubbed “Project for Universal “Nutrition” and Health Coverage through Sustainable Systems for Nutrition Improvement”, supported by the Japanese Government. This new project is a concerted effort by the KOKO Plus Foundation/Ajinomoto Foundation, World Food Programme (WFP), Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ministry of Health (MoH) and Japanese counter parts Sysmex and NEC with a mutual goal to sustainably improve nutrition and health service coverage in ninety-one (91) districts in 8 regions in Ghana. Using a Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC), market-based strategy, provision ofnutritious foods and nutrient supplement - KOKO Plus, livelihood initiatives and innovative diagnostic services.
The successful launch was graced with the presence of Ms. Barbara Clemens, (Representative and Country Director of WFP), Mr. Mochizuki Hisanobu (Ambassador of Japan to Ghana) and Naa Alhassan Andani (Chief of Pishigu).
For his part, Mr. Yusuke Takahashi, country director of KOKO Plus Foundation, expounded on KOKO Plus Foundation’s role in the project, partnering with GHS, Sysmex and NEC to effect social and behavior change in beneficiaries. This would help encourage the beneficiaries in making informed decisions through a synergy of nutrition education and counselling, to invest in nutritious foods and purchase fortified food supplement such as KOKO Plus for their children. He remarked saying “this market-based approach through SBCC and livelihood initiatives that we are pioneering in Ghana is a formidable approach for attaining sustainability and a high social return on investment in low-middle income countries.”
Also speaking at the launch, the acting Deputy Director of nutrition at the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Ms. Veronica Quartey indicated that 48.4% of households in the Karaga district were food insecure thus the project intervention was timely and commendable.
This cohesive nutrition-livelihoods program will allow for enhanced nutrition and health coverage in Ghana, necessary for augmenting the wellbeing of Ghanaians.