It is early morning and the kiosk in which Daavi sells locally brewed liquor or Akpeteshie is already full of customers, some of whom are as young as 22 sipping the liver-destroying stuff and engaging in petty gossips.
Similar scenarios are replicated in other parts of the country, with nobody really expressing concern about the health implications of gulping hard liquor by young men as early as 6am, before thinking about breakfast which is usually nothing but carbohydrate.
They know nothing about cirrhosis of the liver, which can be caused by the incessant consumption of alcohol. As for the kidney and how it can be diseased through bad lifestyles, it would sound Greek to them.
They unsurprisingly do not look healthy and one does not need to be a physician to tell their state of health.
Lifestyle-induced diseases, we have learnt from the experts, are on the ascendancy in the country, wreaking fatalities on breadwinners and throwing families into stressful confusion.
The cases of renal diseases, we have been told, have ascended frighteningly at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, yet most Ghanaians have not bothered to find out just what is responsible for the unusual trends.
The correlation between obesity, a common trend in the country, and high blood pressure has never been an issue among Ghanaians. When shall we change and start being conscious about our health?
Let us take another look at our lifestyles against the backdrop of the avoidable diseases contracted through unwholesome eating and drinking habits and whose negative impact on our health cannot be disputed.
We have learnt from nutritionists about how many Ghanaians do not understand the contribution of fruits to their wellbeing. We are being counseled to consider changing our attitude towards fruits by making conscious efforts to buy and consume these sources of essential vitamins which boost our immune system among other health benefits.
We are nostalgic for the days when nutrition officers attached to the Health Ministry used to educate people about healthy lifestyles and what to eat to maintain good health.
We often take things for granted and are unconscious about the quality of the food and water we consume until the danger signals begin to blink by which sometimes it is too late. Typhoid fever caused by the organism salmonella typhii is one of the many food-borne diseases which are hardly talked about by Ghanaians.
Cholera was virtually on rampage a few weeks ago, claiming some lives, yet we rarely challenge food sellers when they breach food hygiene bylaws.
The boots of some taxi cabs are used for the carrying of both bread from bakeries and sometimes unwholesome stuff.
With many Ghanaians patronizing local eating joints, chop bars, we would have expected that periodic screening of those selling and serving would be undertaken to ensure that no infectious diseases are transmitted to those who patronize such places.
Another look at our eating habits and how to enforce bylaws on food selling would be a wonderful idea.
Source: Editorial (D-Guide)
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