According to Ms. Joyce Asare Kissi, Head of the Nutrition Unit at Tema General Hospital, the facility documented a total of 11 deaths among children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), commonly known as Kwashiorkor, in 2023. The hospital serves as the primary referral health facility in Tema and its surrounding areas, providing in-patient care for children under the age of five with SAM.
Ms. Kissi revealed to the Ghana News Agency that the recorded deaths included both in-patient cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition and those who had been discharged but passed away within a few days. Among the deceased, three each were referrals from Tema Newtown and Kpone-Katamanso, with one each from Ashaiman Township, Ashaiman-Jericho, Dawhenya, and Tema Communities 25 and 22.
She emphasized that Kwashiorkor remains a significant health concern among children aged zero to five, often exacerbated by spiritual and cultural beliefs that delay seeking medical care until the condition worsens. Ms. Kissi urged parents and caregivers to prioritize spending time with their children and providing them with nutritious foods to prevent Kwashiorkor and associated health complications.
Furthermore, she advised parents of children undergoing home management for Kwashiorkor with therapeutic milk or Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food to adhere strictly to the instructions provided by nutritionists to prevent relapse, complications, and potential fatalities.