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Health News Thu, 11 Mar 2010

Nutrition awareness project advocates strategic health planning

Ho, March 11, GNA - Mr Kofi Adusei, Programme Manager of Regenerative Health and Nutrition Awareness Project of the Ministry of Health (MOH), has asked all human resource departments to make the health needs of their employees a crucial strategic planning issue. He observed that many workers contract preventable non-communicable diseases because of squalid workplace atmosphere, poor working conditions and unprofessional supervisory attitudes.

Mr Adusei, who was opening a three-day training of trainers programme in Ho for selected health workers in the Volta Region, said it was the responsibility of employers to provide good drinking water and facilitate the provision of hygienic food for employees while at work. He said managements should provide their workers yearly medical checkups going along with health education to enable them make the right choices. Mr Adusei said it was unfortunate to see many workers with horrendous Body-Mass-Indexes, (BMI) when organised education would have made the difference.

BMI is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. It provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. Mr Adusei mentioned complications resulting from hypertension, cancers, especially prostrate cancer among men, diabetes as among non-communicable diseases plaguing the country and accounting for 30 per cent of morbidity in the hospitals.

He said the project was aimed at tackling the problem among the general populace before it reached crises levels. Mr Adusei mentioned lack of exercise, poor dieting; stress from stormy interpersonal and spousal relationships and galloping materialistic tendencies as some causes of the increasing occurrence of these diseases among Ghanaians.

He observed that people as young as 30 are reporting at the hospitals with strokes, which used not to be the case in the past. Mr Adusei said the stance of the MOH was based on the premise that the "Regenerative Health and Nutrition Concept is seen as a sound and pragmatic strategy for a developing nation such as Ghana in addressing the broader determinants of health". He said this concept shifts the emphasis from curative to preventive health and proposes healthy lifestyle, health promotion and disease prevention as the health development paradigm for the country.

Source: GNA