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01.09.2005 General News

Longevity Project launched

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Accra, Sept. 1, GNA - Longevity Project, a newly established nongovernmental organisation (NGO) with the aim of increasing the expectancy and quality of life of the general population of Ghana was on Thursday launched in Accra.

It would sensitise and educate the public on the causes, prevention and treatment of major life-threatening diseases that primarily account for the low life expectancy in Ghana. The project would also sponsor programmes and activities designed to promote good health through exercise and vigorously advocate improved sanitation and air quality.

Dr Anna Bannerman-Richter, Chief Executive Officer of the Project, said it was founded in Ghana to make Ghanaians aware of the hazards that diminished life and to support individuals' efforts to reduce or eliminate those risks.

" The fundamental premise of the project is that information and knowledge have an impact on people's behaviour and that, change in small segments of the population could serve as catalysts for change in the larger population" she said.

She said the lack of awareness of dangers that bad hygiene, poor diet, lack of physical exercise and chronic stress posed to people's health and quality of life must be made known. Dr Bannerman-Richter noted that the World Health Organisation estimated that by 2020, mental illness, including depression, would be a major crisis that would face the African Continent. She said scientists were discovering and confirming the link between mental and physical health such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis as conditions that appeared to be worsened by depression.

She said a recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency revealed high level of lead in the blood of residents of Accra as a result of increased vehicular emission.

She said there was an enormous productivity losses stemming from the low lifespan and relative ill health of the workforce. ..."Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the country, this includes taxi drivers and accountants, kenkey sellers and business managers, and all other agencies to help to solve this problem, she said.

Ms Brigitte Dzogbenuku, General Manager of the Aviation Social Centre, who launched the project, said it was to educate people on the consequences of bad eating habits.

She said fitness was a leisure activity and was not time wasting and, therefore, urged the whole public to involve themselves in fitness programmes.

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