PCD Promotes Food Safety, Health and Hygiene in Ghana

The Partnership for Child Development (PCD), Imperial College London an academic based organisation working in the area of School Health and Nutrition is providing technical support to Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP).

Among its support a nationwide training for regional and district stakeholders on food safety, health and hygiene was recently provided to school caterers involved in the preparation of the programme.

Participants at the training were taken through sessions on how to identify quality and wholesome food items, proper storage of food, good personal and environmental hygiene and food handling during cooking and serving and are expected to go back and train caterers, cooks and school authorities.

In an interview with Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mrs Getrude Ananse-Baiden, Country Programmes Manager of PCD, said the training is part of the body’s nutrition programme that seeks to enhance the nutritional quality of the meals served by the GSFP.

She said it is not just enough to give children food, but also essential to ensure that the children are eating nutritious and wholesome food, cooked and served under very hygienic conditions in order to avoid contamination which might end up affecting the health and development of the beneficiaries.

Mrs Ananse-Baiden said the indiscriminate disposal of garbage and picking of things from the ground into children’s mouths is a threat to their healthy growth.

She said good nutrition is paramount to healthy physical and cognitive development which are critical for the school child and as such must not be taken for granted.

Mrs Ananse-Baiden said the training was timely, since the whole country has being thrown into distress due to the cholera outbreak and expressed the hope that beneficiaries of the training programme would make good use of the knowledge acquired and impact it to help improve sanitation and the safety of the school meals.

She called on parents and community members to show interest in the school feeding programme and support the efforts of government and its partners to improve on it.

The Country's Manager also asked parents to encourage their children to practice good personal hygiene, especially proper hand washing after visiting the toilet and before eating.

PCD’s nutrition programme is being funded by Dubai Cares, a philanthropic organisation of the United Arab Emirates.