Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate promotes local dishes

Tema, The Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate (TMHD) on Thursday organized its maiden food bazaar aimed at promoting good eating habits and the consumption of local dishes.

The bazaar which was on the theme, Eat right, go local for good health, was supported by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) with sponsorship from other organizations.

Dr John Yabani, Tema Metropolitan Health Director, said records from the various health facilities in the Metropolis showed that many residents were suffering from lifestyle diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

Dr Yabani added that about 14 to 15 per cent of cases attended to in the Metropolis over the years involved the lifestyle diseases as many were consuming too much oil, salt and sugar.

To help change the trend, his outfit decided to organize the bazaar and display Ghanaian nutritious dishes and encourage the public to consume more of them instead of the junk foods.

He noted that in addition to this, school feeding caterers in the Metropolis have been educated on cooking nutritious food for the school children, while market women have also received sensitization on the proper handling and storing of food items to prevent contamination.

Dr Yabani added that nurses have also been trained to identify malnourished children who would be given special medical attention.

He stated that such programmes would also be organized in communities to get the people to appreciate the importance of the local food.

Mr Prince Baidoo, Tema General Hospital Dietician, said statistics show that Ghanaians were eating too much oil leading to high cholesterol, heart diseases among other health complications.

Mr Baidoo noted that food items such as groundnuts, avocado and cashew nuts, contain enough oils for the body therefore cooking with them provided the body with the needed oils.

He noted that every type of oil could be used for cooking but must not be used excessively as all types of oil measure the same in calories.

He said it was untrue that some oils could be used anyhow with no effects, stressing that excessive use of any oil was dangerous.

He also cautioned the public from applying heat to olive oil if they want to get its benefit adding that small quantities of it could be added to food.

Mrs Faustina Vimariba, Greater Accra Regional Nutrition Officer of the Ghana Health Service, said pregnant women in their first trimester must desist from overly consuming animal liver as it contained high contents of vitamin A.

Mrs Vimariba, explained that during the first trimester, cell formation of the fetus occurs therefore making it dangerous to consume food substances like liver that have high vitamin A contents.

She urged expectant mothers to consume more foods containing folic and iron in early pregnancy noting, that would boost the formation of the cells.

The Nutrition Officer said folic and iron could be obtained from dark green leafy vegetables such as spinash, kontomire and borkorborkor.

Representatives of Nii Adjei Kraku II, Tema Paramount Chief and Mr Felix Mensah Nii Annang-La, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, commended the Health Directorate and urged residents to consume their local dishes.

Source: Ghana News Agency