Accra- The 2019 Nutritious Ghana Conference, an initiative that aims at educating the public on healthy nutrition has been out-door in Accra with a call on Ghanaians to make nutrition a priority to stay healthy.
Being championed by the Ministry for Planning, Healthy Living Foundation and Imagine8 Company the novelty seeks to find practical ways to solve and improve nutrition deficits in among Ghanaians.
Scheduled to take place in Accra on March 27th to 29th, 2019, at the Accra International Conference Centre, there would be pre-conference activities including formation of nutritious Ghana Clubs in Schools, organizing hands-on training for matrons in the hospital and public education on nutrition.
The conference would feature a gathering of nutrition experts, food processors, agriculturists as well as policymakers in the food value chain to deliberate on innovative ways of curbing malnutrition and other nutrition-related diseases towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) two and three.
It would be under the theme ‘Integrated Approach to Promoting a Nutritious Ghana’.
A statement delivered on his behalf Prof Gyan Baffour, Minister for Planning, explained that the benefits of developing healthy dietary and lifestyle patterns from an early age could positively impact on people’s nutrition and health throughout their adult lives, and enhance the increase in productivity of individuals and the nation.
He noted that nutritional education was an important element in an overall strategy towards improving food security and the prevention of all forms of malnutrition.
Prof Gyan Baffour stated that undernutrition was linked to child death, illness and poor development. Stunted children are inches shorter than they could have been with proper nutrition.
They have weaker immune systems that make them more vulnerable to diseases. Studies show that, stunting slows brain development and results in the loss of two to three years of learning, he said.
Evidence shows that, focusing on pregnant women and babies under the age of two is critical, because in these dire 1000 days as we call them, the foundation can be laid for a healthy life through nutrition.
Schools from pre-school to secondary are ideal settings for promoting lifelong healthy eating habits and lifestyles. It is therefore imperative that we inculcate these innovative strategies from Pre School to High Schools as a way to promote healthy eating habits among the youth who form the majority of our population.
The Minister noted that Ghana was the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to meet the Millennium Development Goal one Eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, bringing Stunting down from 30 per cent in 2003 to 19 per cent in 2014, and facilitating enabling policy environment in nutrition-sensitive areas.
In spite of the immense successes chalked over the years, he said there were still many unresolved challenges that we are facing as a country in terms of nutrition.
Mrs Gertrude Quashigah, Chairman of the Nutritious Ghana Conference said eating well-balanced diets combined with regular physical activity was a cornerstone of good health.
Time and time again we had heard speeches about nutrition, malnutrition and have been preached to on how to live healthy lifestyles. It is high time we put these teachings and ideas into practice to create a more realistic approach to achieving our goals for nutrition in Ghana, she said.
Source: Ghana News Agency