Malnutrition and poor health characterize the growing population of orphaned and vulnerable children in Ghana. By providing basic nutrition, hygiene products, and caregiver education in 30 orphanage homes in Ghana, AmeriCares One Child One World project is trying to ensure that the 1,500 children living in these homes live longer, healthier lives.
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to an estimated 48 million orphans, most of whom suffer from malnutrition and poor hygiene and have little or no access to health care. Poor nutrition can result in disease and also hamper mental and cognitive development. Ghana Health Services estimates that about 50% of childhood deaths in the country are related to malnutrition. Most caregivers in these homes lack the basic knowledge required to meet these orphans' nutritional and health care needs.
AmeriCares launched One Child One World to improve the nutritional, health and hygienic conditions of approximately 1,500 orphans living in 30 residential homes in Ghana. We are reducing malnutrition and helping improve the long-term health of these orphans by providing nutritional supplements, infant formula and hygiene and first aid products, administering vaccinations for them and their caregivers, as well as offering health and nutrition education to approximately 300 caregivers.
The program will provide immediate improvement in the health status and nutrition of the children living in these homes, reducing malnutrition in the short-term by 25% among children ranging from infants to five-year-olds. The level of malnutrition will decrease with the continued implementation. The improvement of sanitary facilities and the practice of good hygiene will reduce the risk of infection over the long term, and the increased knowledge among caregivers will result in improved health.