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05.02.2005 Regional News

Ghanaians advised to develop taste for local dishes

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Tamale, Feb. 5, GNA - Dr Gilbert Dery, Northern Regional Biologist has advised Ghanaians to change their eating habits and develop the taste for local food consumption to improve their nutritional and health status.

"We can improve our nutritional status if we develop the taste for the country's local dishes and minimize the consumption of foods of foreign origin," he said. Dr Dery gave the advice when he addressed participants at a day's Annual Performance Review Meeting of the Tamale Metropolitan Health Directorate in Tamale on Friday.

The meeting was to provide a forum for members to review the performance of the sector during the past year and to see how best they could improve on their services in areas that they fell short. About 40 participants from the Metropolis took part in the Meeting, which was also to sensitise the public on certain practices and habits that pose danger to their health.

Dr Dery said, a lot of malnourished cases resulting in deaths in the country was partly due to the neglect of consuming local foods that were of nutritional value than the imported food items, which many Ghanaians developed taste for.

Dr Dery noted that most educated women in urban centres were no longer preparing local dishes and had stopped the use of local spices such as "Dawadawa", "Alefu", "Ayoyo" and "Prekese", which, he said had high nutritional value.

He regretted that majority of hotels and restaurants in the country were not preparing local foods to sell to foreigners, they were rather preparing foreign foods, whose prices were beyond the reach of many Ghanaians.

Hajia Patricia Azara Amadu, Tamale Metro Nutrition Officer said most people in the northern regions, particularly children were still malnourished and were suffering from vitamin A, iron and iodine deficiency disorders.

She said the Metropolitan Health directorate had embarked on nutrition education in the rural areas of the region to educate children and parents the need to balance their diet for healthy live.

She expressed the hope that with education, there would be improvement in the nutritional status of the children and their parents.

Dr John Abenyeri, Tamale Metropolitan Director of Health Services advised the public to continue to practice environmental hygiene to prevent malaria and cholera.

He said malaria was still the number one killer in the country and expressed regret that much was not done to educate the public about the dangers of the disease. Alhaji Mohammed Baba Iddrisu, Metropolitan Coordinating Director, said the Assembly had been collaborating with other institutions involved in health promotion to ensure improvement in the health status of the people.

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