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Food safety, nutrition security are critical to health in Ghana

Food safety, nutrition security are critical to health in Ghana

In Ghana, the issue of food safety remains crucial, said the researchers. The African country urgently needs to craft policy to improve agricultural practices to promote nutrition security and healthy productive lives, professor Felix Ankoma Asante said.

Ghana’s Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) said that food safety is critical for the public health in Ghana. The most common means of infection from zoonotic diseases had been through food production while chemical residues in food were also significantly impacting on the health of consumers with dire consequences for labour and productivity, national economies and economic development.

Thanks to the ongoing assistance of the United Nations Foord Programme, the access to fortified foods for children under two increased. Additionally, WFP provides electronic vouchers for GrowNut, a lipid-based nutrient supplement, which is crucial for toddlers’ health. Ghanian Food-based Approaches for Improved Nutrition became a pilot project in the northern part to reduce stunting and micronutrient deficiencies. WFP promotes the consumption of local nutritious foods and the adoption of healthy behaviours.

Professor Asante reiterates that the poor agricultural practices were linked to the prevalence of food-borne diseases which had become major causes of morbidity and mortality. Despite the UN assistance, the chronic malnourishment or undernourishment lead to stunting, wasting and underweight individuals. the most vulnerable layer of society is children. The malnutrition leads to overweight, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

According to nutritionists, health could only be sustained through quality nutrition. In other words, if the food would not guarantee good health, then it was not worth eating it, said professor Asante.