The Bole District Health Directorate in conjunction with the Bole District Education Service with their partners held a stakeholders meeting on Girls Iron Folic Tablets Supplementation (GIFTS) program on the 8th of February, 2022 at the Bole District Assembly Hall.

Speaking at the programme the Bole District Nutrition officer Mr. Kenneth Kpankpari said, the inter-sectorial intervention was introduced into Bole District to reduce the high prevalence of anaemia in women of childbearing age and adolescent girls between the ages of 10 to 19 years.

He said, the program is designed to provide adolescent girls in Schools and communities with weekly iron and folic acid tablets free of charge to help prevent anaemia.

Mr. Kenneth Kpankpari bemoaned the misconceptions around the GIFTS program with majority of people in the various communities thinking the iron Folic tablets was a contraceptive to reduce the child birth rate in the District, which should be debunked.

He disclosed that anemia remains a problem of public health in Ghana with a prevalence rate of 53% among young adults aged between 10-19 years in 2017.

However the Bole District Nutrition Officer disclosed that the Health Directorate with it’s supporting partners has made available iron Folic tablets for adolescent girls and women who lost a lot of blood during their menses.

He disclosed that, several health workers and teacher’s have been trained across the district to support the successful implementation of the program.

Also present at the program was the Bole District Deputy Education Supervisor Mr Jamani Bakari who urged the various circuit supervisors to ensure the smooth success of the program by sensitizing the Parents Teacher Association to know the full benifits of the Iron Folic supplement.

He said the stakeholders meeting is an inter-sectorial program by Ghana Health Service and Ghana Education Service which seeks to educate and promote the intake of iron Folic tablets among the adolescent girls and tasked members at the meeting especially the media and religious bodies to take it upon themselves to ensure the full success of the program because of it’s benifits.

Mr Jamani Bakari said, as part of GIFTS, school authorities are to directly observe that girls take the IFA tablet every week after lunch.

The GIFTS’ Program is a Ghana Health Service and Ghana Education Service with funding and technical support from Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

GIFTS is being implemented to reduce the high rate of anaemia in adolescents and women of childbearing age, improve female health and contribute to reduction in maternal mortality.