A public health nutrition expert at the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Prof. Francis Zotor, has observed the African continent has done little to derive maximum benefits from indigenous diet.
“Until we wake up to the nutritionalisation of our African diet we will be growing in the dark,” he posited. “There is marginalization of our nutrition. We’ve not taken pride in our traditional foods. They call Africa, the Dark Continent but we have the rich resources, Africa is rich”.
Prof. Zotor was speaking at the 17th biennial virtual workshop of the Ghana Science Association.
He was also worried about what he says is “the food environment becoming increasingly unhealthy.”
“We see ultra-processed foods, and which are sold at exorbitant prices,” he added.
He charged the universities to prioritize investigations into traditional foods.
“Let’s begin to investigate and conduct studies into some of our local food,” he noted.
A food scientist at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr. Jacob Agbenorhevi wants local people to desist from over processing foods since he says “there is evidence to suggest over processing of local foods affect nutrient availability.”
The workshop was under the theme, “Diet, health and covid-19”.
“The workshop presents an opportunity to share our knowledge and experiences as well as learn from what science has to offer as we face the challenges of COVID-19 through effective management of our diet, nutrition and health,” said Prof. William Gariba Akanwariwiak, National president, Ghana Science Association.
The webinar is expected to end with a policy direction that can serve as a guideline to reduce vulnerability and augment Ghana’s response in fighting COVID-19 and pandemics of a similar magnitude.