By Joyce Bedeley:
Rite FM in collaboration with World Vision, Farm Radio International, the University of Ghana (Legon) and the McGill University has launched a child focused programme on its airwaves. Dubbed ‘Dietary Diversity’ and aired on Sundays between 6pm and 7pm, the programmes seeks to which among others educate nursing mothers on how to cater for their wards from childbirth to a certain stage.
The programme which is part of a wider scope under a project known as the Nutrition Links, is to be aired in the local Krobo language under the name, ‘Bim3 tsuwii an) hi3mi’ which literally translates into infant care.
Speaking on the maiden edition of the show last Sunday, Project Coordinator for the Nutrition Links project, Mr. Stephen Matey underscored the importance of feeding in infants and noted that lactating mothers must do ‘exclusive breastfeeding’ of their infants.
‘Feeding is very necessary and has its own effects and that is why it is recommended that lactating mothers are to do exclusive breast feeding for 6 months since the breast is enriched with more nutrients. After six months however, the amount of nutrients decrease and mothers are therefore entreated to add other more balanced diets to the breast milk after six months in order to enhance proper growth and also prevent the child from other forms of sickness which sometimes affect the child’s brain,’ Mr. Matey explained.
According to him, every child has a role to play in society’s development, adding that parents also need to cater well for their children especially during infancy and he hopes that the program will really help mothers to do as expected of them. He was also emphatic that childbirth is a necessity but more importantly is their feeding which is important in helping to avoid all forms of sickness. On the other hand, as Mr. Matey observed, good feeding also ensures the good mental development of the child.
‘The betterment of Kroboland depends on how parents care for their wards now,’ Mr. Matey observed while demanding that nursing mothers focus on ‘exclusive breast feeding’ and also learn to position their children well when feeding them.
He also strongly abhorred the practice of the olden days where orphaned children were breastfed by other nursing mothers. According to him, the presence of diseases is a strong reason to avoid such practices and suggested that such babies are fed canned foods.
The focus of the maiden edition of the programme was on poor dietary diversity among infants which has become a big challenge in our societies. As part of the programme therefore, some mothers were interviewed to find out their understanding of the term ‘poor dietary diversity.’ Some of them as part of exhibiting their knowledge on the topic noted that it was a bad practice to feed children late in the night but rather on time. Others also mentioned the need for children to be fed the right food and in the right quantities, otherwise known as balanced diet.
As part the program, a trending question is posed to listeners which is intended to gauge their understanding of the programme. Listeners are supposed to call the programme’s hotline which is 0307084572 which will automatically instruct the caller to press 1, 2 or 3 depending on the question and one’s answer. Co-host of the programme, Miss Celestina Ghalley demonstrated the effective use of the number to the understanding of the listeners.