‘Koko sakora’ is not enough for children’s nutrition – Nutritionist advises parents

Radio Univers
Radio Univers
2 Min Read

Head of the Nutrition Unit at Tema General Hospital, Ms. Joyce Asare Kissi, has advised parents against providing their children with nutrient-deficient porridges, as it can lead to malnutrition, specifically Kwashiorkor.

Malnutrition arises from insufficient nutrients in the body and can result in fatigue, dizziness, growth-related problems, and even death in severe cases.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Ms. Kissi warned against the consumption of porridges known as ‘koko sakora’, which predominantly consist of carbohydrates without essential nutrients for the children’s growth. She emphasized that after six months of exclusive breastfeeding, mothers and caregivers should incorporate family foods containing all recommended nutrients to prevent malnutrition and related illnesses.

The nutritionist recommended adding ingredients such as palm oil, groundnut paste, fish powder, fruits, vegetables, and milk to children’s porridges and meals to ensure their growing bodies receive necessary nutrients. Expressing concern about the persistence of malnutrition, particularly Kwashiorkor, among children under five in Ghana due to inadequate nutritional feeding, Ms. Kissi reported daily cases at her unit from Tema and surrounding districts.

She emphasized that while malnutrition is a treatable condition, misconceptions often lead people to seek assistance elsewhere, delaying hospital visits until the situation becomes severe. Ms. Kissi urged mothers and caregivers to diligently provide nutritious foods, follow caregivers’ advice, and promptly seek medical attention for symptoms of malnutrition in children.

Additionally, she called on relatives, traditional leaders, community opinion leaders, and religious figures to encourage mothers to seek medical attention at the onset of Kwashiorkor symptoms rather than waiting until it becomes critical.

Ms. Kissi also appealed to non-governmental organizations and philanthropists to support Tema General Hospital’s Nutrition Unit with cereals for preparing therapeutic feeds, as many parents struggle with treatment costs not covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme.

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