GNA partners Nestle Ghana on social campaign on iron deficiency
Accra, Feb. 27, GNA – The Ghana News Agency (GNA), is partnering Nestle Ghana on its “Live Strong with Iron” social campaign, to strengthen media education and awareness creation on the impact of iron deficiency and proper nutrition for wellness.
Mr Benjamin Paintsil, the Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Specialist at Nestle Ghana, said the campaign had nothing to do with the promotion of the company’s products, but to educate consumers and the population on the right foods to eat for good health.
Mr Paintsil stated at a symbolic presentation of some iron-rich foods to the Agency in Accra on Thursday.
He said globally poor nutrition had been found to be a major contributor to iron deficiency, especially in women, children, and adolescent girls, with broader consequences not only on the psychophysical growth of these individuals, but also on productivity, which negatively impact on national development.
While iron deficiency (anaemia) in children could lead to lack of concentration in school resulting in poor academic outcomes, they could also have irreversible cognitive and developmental delays, and in pregnancy, contribute to low birth weights, miscarriages and death of both mother and child, he said.
Mr Paintsil said iron deficiency had been found to be prevalent in West and Central Africa, and the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey estimates that 66 per cent of children under five years and 42 per cent of women in their reproductive age were anaemic, making it a widespread health issue.
“The solution to iron deficiency are all around us ranging from local and familiar farm produce such as beans, oats, agushie, green leafy vegetables like ‘kontomire’ and eggs; to rightly fortified foods including milk,” he said.
He explained that since the launch of the Live Strong with Iron campaign by the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo in October 2019; workshops had been organised with relevant government officials, Civil Society Organizations including the Nurses and Midwifery Council and the Association of Dieticians, as well as community engagement at James Town in Accra.
Mr Paintsil said the three-year campaign was to complement efforts by the government and other stakeholders towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing, and the call for stronger media collaboration to intensify public education to change the narrative.
The iron campaign would contribute 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”.
Mr Kwaku Osei-Bonsu, Director, Editorial of GNA, commended Nestle Ghana for the initiative and for its collaboration with the media, and pledged the commitment of GNA to the campaign to enhance public knowledge nationwide on the common local foods to eat to improve their health and sustain national development.
Mrs Breatrice Asamani Savage, the News Editor, GNA, said the campaign was laudable and expressed regret that people had to die as a result of anaemia.
She urged journalists to give much attention to publications on good nutrition in order to save lives.