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29.08.2005 Health

Health Experts tour Health Project Centre

GNA

From Yaa Oforiwah Acquah, GNA Special Correspondent, Glodjigbe, Benin

Glodjigbe (Benin), Aug. 29, GNA - The quest of Ghana and other African countries to reduce and prevent diseases among the people through the adoption of healthier lifestyles was manifested in Glodjigbe, Benin, at the weekend when a Ghanaian and Togolese delegation observed the nutritional impact of a regenerative heath project there. The delegation led by Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), Ghana's Health Minister, visited the Regenerative Health Project Centre in Benin to study the positive nutritional impact of the project, which has enhanced and promoted the quality of the health of the people in the project community.

The 47-member delegation comprising 27 from Ghana and 20 from Togo came from the ministries of Health, Environment, Science and Technology, Agriculture, and Education and Sports. The tour was also to offer members first hand information on the project and to find the possibility of replicating it in Ghana and Togo. The Regenerative Health Project funded by Beninois Sam Doussou, an energy advisor, ensures that people who lived in the community adopted healthier lifestyles by eating low-salt and low-fat foods such as grains, vegetables and fruits, refrain from smoking and maintained regular exercising to reduce disease occurrence.

Some black Israelis in the 1970s started the project in Dimona, Israel where they ate vegetables and fruits. This helped to check to diseases like high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Addressing the group, Major Quashigah said Ghana now needed a Ministry of Health that would promote disease prevention in a process that would eventually help to reduce the number of hospital beds. "This is the time to restructure our health system to promote prevention than treatment," he said, and added that he was totally convinced good health could be attained through the promotion of the best foods that would build the body rather than break it down with diseases.

Quoting Genesis 1:29 to support the Ministry Health's quest to replicate the project in Ghana, Major Quashigah said: "God really wants us to eat the fruits and seeds", adding "what we eat will give us a better and higher life expectancy".

Describing the visit as a "walk through Africa", the Minister said it should open a window of opportunity to endorse the concept in Ghana for the good health of the people.

The adoption would also call for the improvement in Ghana's agricultural practices where organic food production would be promoted to rid the food products from chemicals, which introduced diseases into the body.

Mr T. K. D. Amesimeku, Ghana's Ambassador in Benin, who welcomed the delegation, said, Ghana would rely on their recommendations to meet the challenge that had been placed before it. "You need to spread the message on the good news you have heard and seen which would in future help to reduce the disease burden of our motherland."

Briefing the delegation on the need to promote regenerative health, Prince Immanuel (rpt) Immanuel Ben Yehuda, the project's spokesman, said it encouraged holistic living since there could be no development of a people who were constantly sick.

Sickness, he said, had become a big business in the western world where million of dollars were spent on the production of a single medicine.

"We see this as a waste because in 38 years we have adopted a preventive health system through food and exercising and for 38 years, not even one person has contracted the HIV virus. There is only one stroke and one cancer cases each among the over 3,000 people in Dimona." He expressed regret that over 15 million African children had died from malnutrition though Africa could reduce her disease burden by 25 per cent if it kept its environment and water sources clean.

"We must stop following the West now, eat what our ancestors ate by encouraging the people to eat nuts, fresh fruits, grains, vegetables instead of the commercially produced products," he said, adding that the food we ate could be the medicines that could build healthy bodies.

Mr Sar Yadiel, another official of the project, who spoke on Genetic Modification said the concept caused chemical reactions that were destructive to both humans and the environment. The project, he said, did not only cater for the health needs of the people but also catered for the soil as the best way to produce the best food.

"The challenge, therefore, is for Africa to be very critical of what it is offered to save the Continent from the numerous health hazards plaguing it."

The project, started in Benin about three years ago, has to its credit a plantation of fruits, legumes, plantains and bananas and 25 buildings, a soya processing plant, cafeteria and auditorium and a clinic to treat sick visitors. The delegation has since returned home.

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