First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has called for concerted effort towards addressing iron deficiency among Ghanaians particularly pregnant women, children under five years, and teenage girls.
She said tackling the nutrition deficiency in a collective manner will spur good health and wellbeing for all.
“We can leverage our collective strength to fight iron deficiency in Ghana. But … let’s do it with a sense of urgency and great commitment,” she said.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo made the call when she unveiled the iron deficiency awareness campaign initiated by Nestlé Ghana in Accra.
The campaign dubbed: “Live Strong with Iron’’ will raise awareness and educate the public on the impact of iron deficiency and the need for proper nutrition, through the media and fora.
The event also coincided with the commemoration of the “World Food Day” and contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 – “Good Health and Wellbeing.”
Mrs. Akufo-Addo said although iron deficiency is a widespread health issue and a major contributor to anemia in Ghana, the problem can effectively be solved through the adoption of proper nutrition.
“We need to make use of innovation to fortify foods with iron so our women and children can achieve the recommended dietary allowance”, she said, while commending Nestlé for championing the initiative.
According to the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (DGHS) 66 percent of children under five are anemic, same as 42 percent of women in their reproductive age (15-49 years) and 45 percent of pregnant women respectively.
Managing Director of Nestlé Ghana, Philomena Tan, said lack of iron in daily food intake affects wellbeing and productivity of both women and children.
“This includes the inability of deficient children to concentrate in school and excel academically. The solution to iron deficiency is all around us ranging from local and familiar farm produce to rightly fortified foods. We, at Nestlé are leading this campaign to help individuals and families identify and eat foods rich in iron to help curb the deficiency,” she added.
The iron campaign contributes to fulfilling Nestlé’s ambition to help 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030 in line with its purpose of “enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”.
Professor Matilda Steiner-Asiedu, life-long advocate of nutrition and immediate past Dean of School of Biological Sciences, University of Ghana is the lead expert on the Iron Deficiency Awareness Campaign.
Source: Daily Guide
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