The Ministry of Health (MOH) has started a project, aimed at encouraging Ghanaians to adopt cheap but healthy eating habits using indigenous foods.
The project, dubbed 'Regenerative Health and Nutrition Training programme,' will be undertaken on a pilot basis in 10 districts throughout the country and later replicated in other districts.
Under the project, district nutrition and health staff as well as other volunteers are been trained on the need for proper nutrition and exercise through the use of locally available food items, in line with the MoH's paradigm shift from curative to preventive health.
Staff for the project is being trained by experts from the African-Hebrew Development Agency (AHDA), based in Israel.
Launching the project for the Ga West district at Amasaman, the Minister of Health, Major (Rt.) Courage Quashigah, indicated that the Ga West district was the second after Asikuma Odoben-Brakwa in the Central Region to launch the programme adding that Hohoe would be the next district.
"We will soon network all these districts to ensure more efficiency," he said.
About 100 participants from the MOH, chiefs and queen mothers, church leaders, school heads, assembly members, traders and officials from the National Disaster Management Organisation among others are attending the five-day orientation on the programme.
The minister blamed Ghanaians for poor eating habits and lack of exercises, which he said, greatly contributed to the high incidence of preventable diseases.
That, he indicated was a marked departure from the lifestyle and eating habits of the older generation and explained that it was responsible for their long life-span.
He noted that the success of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is under serious threat if Ghanaians do not change their eating habits.
"If we choose to eat just any kind of food with the idea that we will get free treatment if we fall sick, the scheme will not succeed," he noted.
"The amount spent in treating just malaria, which is about 1.3 trillion cedis is equal to the total amount of money collected under the NHIS," he said, and therefore advocated the need for a paradigm shift from the current poor eating habit to save money.
The International Project Director for AHDA, Prince Immanuel Ben-Yehuda commended Ghana and especially the Minister of Health for taking up the project.
He said a lot of people suffered various diseases that could easily be avoided through proper diet.
The Ga West Chief Executive, Solomon Busby Quartey, thanked the MOH for the trust reposed in them by selecting the district for the pilot programme, which he said was a challenge to the district but assured that everything possible would be done to ensure its success.
The chairman for the occasion, Nii Tettey Okpe II, who is also the Amamole Mantse, pledged the support of the traditional authorities for the programme.
Source: The Ghanaian Times