The lnstitute of Leadership and Development(INSLA)held a forum on Thursday 21st October 2012 in Accra at the holiday Inn hotel to launch a project dubbed trans-fatty acid.
Trans-fatty acids are manufactured fats created during a process called hydrogenation which means the combination of fat, vegetable oils,including hydrogen to make it look more saturated.
Speaking at the forum, Director of Institute of Leadership and Development Mr.Benjemin Anabila, said the problems associated with trans-fatty acid were a potential national disaster,which could” surpass the devastation caused by the pandemic which is the Covid -19 in our mother land.
He said One in Four Ghanaians will suffer stroke in the next ten to twenty years if nothing is done to control the conditions that induce the ailment.
Mr.Benjemin Anabila further said trans-fatty acid had been identified as the leading cause of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
He said cardiovascular
diseases,stroke, peripheral arterial diseases and aortic disease had assumed significant importance in the global public health arena,as cardiovascular disease is been regarded as the first class cause of death.
To him the first phase of the eighteen month project would seek to create awareness of the negative impact of trans-fatty acid and to advocate for their total elimination from Ghana.
The two countries world wide that have been able to eliminate trans-fatty acid from their food chain are South Africa and Kenya in the East Africa.
Dr. Phyllis Addis a Senior Lecturer at the University of Health and Allied Sciences in her presentation said Trans-Fatty Acid unlike saturated fats which increased bad cholesterol also reduced a person good cholesterol and therefore increased the risk of heart diseases.
She said there was no policy in Ghana regarding the need to eliminate trans-fatty acid and,therefore manufactures had taken on this to loop-hole to dump foods and oils that contained trans-fatty acid such as snacks,baked and fried foods in Ghana.
She entreats the public to ensure they read labels any thing they buy for consumption so as to avoid foods that are high fatty acids.
Dr.Elise Kodjoe, A representative of the World Health Organisation Ghana Office, said that
presently 94,000 people suffer from stroke annually in Ghana.
He further said the World Health Organisation was spearheading a global initiative to get rid of trans-fatty in the world by the year 2030.
Mr.Mark Atuahene Acting Head, Public Health and Health Promotion of the Ministry of Health, said the Ministry was ready to partner stakeholders to generate a policy on Trans-Fatty Acid(TFAs) in Ghana.
The project launch brought together,people from the public sector, the press, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.