Ghana is currently facing a nutrition crisis, recording a double burden of malnutrition, according to a new nutrition report.
Dubbed the Foresight Report on Africa, the report, titled ‘Food Systems and Diets: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century’, was launched by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition at the 7th Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS).
The theme for this year’s celebration was: ‘Investing in Food Systems for Improving Child Nutrition: Key to Africa’s Renaissance’.
A former Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, in his presentation on ‘Scaling up Nutrition in Ghana’, said that although Ghana has performed creditably well in reducing the rate of malnutrition, it had to do more to improve the gains made.
According to him, many children in Ghana have short attention spans because of malnutrition. He said this could be translated to the academic performance of most Ghanaian students.
An Associate Professor at the Department of Nutrition and Food Science of the University of Ghana, Professor Matilda Steiner-Asiedu, in an interview with citifmonline.com, lamented that recent trends suggested an increasing phenomenon of wrong food choices leading to obesity.
“We are seeing this not only in adults, but also in children. Ghana is also facing a stunning rate of about 9%.Now all this is due to wrong food choices and the quality of food eaten. We can’t talk about nutrition and leave out food safety. We need all hands on deck to tackle it holistically in order to reorient our people to make healthy food choices,” she said.
A former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Dr Joyce Aryee who officially launched the report charged the media and the African Union (AU) to massively share the knowledge contained in the report in order to make it available to all and influence positive action.
“The knowledge in this document must be implemented. It is not just one person’s role, but each individual’s responsibility to make sure that this knowledge is disseminated and used at all levels because we can no longer live with a crisis that can be resolved.
We don’t have to have a nutritional crisis. What we need is a nutritional agenda that gives our people nourishing food,” she also said.
The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition is an independent group of influential experts with a commitment to tackling global challenges in food and nutrition security. It aims at providing guidance to decision-makers, particularly governments, and to inform and promote agricultural and food policies, as well as investment for improved nutrition in low and middle-income countries.
The Global Panel is jointly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).