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 West Africa Health Organization

The  West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) today had a workshop on  Nutrition Training Curriculum and modules at Oak plaza hotel in Accra.

Mr. Aminu Adakurugu who is the (Director of Administration) addressed the program on behalf of Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu who is the current (Minister for Health) and He said,"it is indeed a great privilege to be invited to address this August meeting of WAHO experts who have been assembled here to validate a training curricular and modules for tertiary institutions in our sub region. Although Ghana places great importance on nutrition and therefore nutrition education, I will be the first person to admit that, input into the training curriculum of our training institutions has been minimal though the Ministry has been the main beneficiary of the products of the school. I am sure the situation is no different in the sun region as a whole."

He said again, "I am of the firm belief that a curriculum should be based on policy. A policy that positions nutrition as a cross cutting developmental issue that will address all our known nutrition concerns and challenges comprehensively. Such a policy would provide guidance in determining the content of any nutrition training curriculum that we may develop. I therefore assume a sub region nutrition policy has already been prepared to guide this exercise of developing training curriculum for tertiary institutions."

According to  him, "we know Nutrition encompasses udernutrition particularly in children less than five years of age, micronutrient deficiencies among women and children, sub-optimal infant and young child feeding, and increasing rates of obesity and nutrition -related non-communicable  diseases.

This is  fact every student of nutrition knows. The  challenge is not   knowing what cause nutrition but how to combat the socio-culture behaviours that influence the prevalence of malnutrition in our sub-region. How do we change negative but entrenched feeding habits for into? How do we combat new influences from commercial concerns which is introducing new dimension to malnutrition in our sub-region? How can we gain the trust and confidence of our contemporaries in the communities so as to influence their nutritional habits? He continued by saying that, I am referring to nutrition programming, management and implementation strategies."

He emphasized that, "Another area of nutrition that we tend to ignore is the relationship between malnutrition and food security, food safety, hygiene and sanitation. We can have  all the best strategies but if the food is not there, there is little the nutrition officer could do,if  the food is not handle properly, it could be contaminated and bring about infections that could compound the nutrition problem."

In Ghana, responsibility for food security rest with the Ministry of food and Agriculture whilst the Ministry of Health is responsible for micro nutrition supplementation. The responsibility for food  safety is shared between the Ministry of Health through the FDA, Ministry of food and Agriculture through its various food and animal inspectorate departments, The Ministry of Trade and Industry through the standards Board Authority,He said."

Source: | Kofi Dwumah

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