The Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah (retd), has called for a nationwide campaign aimed at gearing the mindsets of Ghanaians towards grasping the principles of healthy living and the avoidance of preventable deaths.
According to him, the nation's dream of attaining a middle income status by 2015 was attainable if the benefits of good health could be exploited towards that goal.
"If we can prevent diseases and accidents, then we will have a longer, healthier life and save money towards the development of the nation," he stressed.
Major Quashigah was speaking at the opening of a five-day training for 60 strategically selected persons in the Keta District in the Volta Region being trained as agents of change in the campaign to conscientise the people in the district to regenerative health.
He observed that a chunk of the nation's wealth was being spent on ill-health, and therefore called for a change of the trend if the nation was desirous of reaching the middle income status by 2015.
"We have degenerated our health over the years but we can regenerate it by changing our lifestyles and eating right," the minister stated.
The Keta District Director of Health Services, Dr Atsu Seake-Kwao, observed that non-communicable diseases and chronic degenerative health factors had led to a rise in premature deaths in the area.
He stated that people who died from such causes were mostly in the productive age group of 25-49, adding that the role of nutrition could not be ruled out in the effort to curtail such premature deaths.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Edward Ahiabor, advised the trainees to strive to assimilate what was being taught so as to become effective agents of change and advocates of good living in the district.
He also appealed to the government to take a critical look at the horticultural sector, since under the new paradigm of regenerative health, farmers in that sector would be expected to step up the production of vegetables and fruits for consumption.
Mr Ahiabor called on stakeholders in the district to enforce laws on sanitation and also organise frequent clean-up exercises in order to avoid the outbreak of diseases.