The Paediatric Society of Ghana (PSG), has issued a communiqué advocating for high quality nutritional and lifestyle choices in childhood and adolescence.
The communiqué which was jointly signed by Dr Maame Yaa Nyarko, the President, and Dr Naa Djama Glover, the Secretary of the PSG respectively, at the end of the Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM), held in Kumasi, from June 21 to 23, 2018.
The society’s AGM was on the theme: “Nutritional and Lifestyle Choices in Childhood and Adolescence,” the statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday stated.
The Society concluded that adequate and healthy food choices at an early age, was essential for the optimum growth and development of every child in Ghana, for a healthier and more productive adult population.
It said to ensure this, the Society recognises the need for all stakeholders to reinforce existing public health interventions including increasing the uptake of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life for all new born.
It also advocated for the introduction of the appropriate complementary feeds including micronutrients supplementation and periodic deworming, for optimum health for all children.
The Members also stressed on the importance of motivating children to engage in appropriate play activities for at least 60 minutes daily, with active participation by parents and caregivers.
The Society said, it recognised the ill effects of prolonged screen time on the physical and mental health of children and encouraged stakeholders especially parents, and school teachers, to ensure that children spent limited time watching television or other electronic gadgets such as phones and tablets at home and in school depending upon the age of the children.
It further noted that adolescents were vulnerable and easily influenced by peers as they found their identity, saying this period could be very confusing for them, placing them naturally at risk of picking up addictive behaviours and practices including substance misuse and abuse.
Consequently the PSG pledged its commitment to collaborate with other stakeholders in curbing the recent challenge of substance misuse such as tramadol addiction among adolescents, including increased advocacy for prevention, and rehabilitation of persons already affected by this growing menace, especially among our students. GNA