A properly defined and enforced national guideline on food safety is critical to maintaining health and preventing malnutrition amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Head of Corporation of the Canadian High Commission in Accra, Corey Huntington says a robust and diverse food supply is an essential part of the health and nutrition response to COVID.
She spoke at the launch of the National Food Safety Guidelines for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
“Food safety is a crucial aspect of the food value chain and attention must be given it to ensure that all members of society, especially children and those who have particular vulnerabilities, consume food that is safe and healthy for their growth and productivity”.
Canada’s support for food security, she noted, is part of the Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) Programme, for which Canada is directly providing US$125million to government. The MAG Programme has as its main objective, improving the production and productivity of farmers.
The initiative operates within the context of the current decentralization policy in Ghana, hence the role of the Local Government Ministry as a key implementing partner. At the core of the programme therefore is the issue of food safety and its impact on ensuring food security for the population.
The outbreak of the COVID pandemic on a global scale with the devastation it has wrought to nations and populations alike has heightened the need to ensure populations are nourished and healthy.
Ms. Huntington emphasized the need to integrate the food safety guidelines into the by-laws of MMDAs across the country since this would enhance the concept of decentralization and take the pressure of central government in prosecuting that agenda.
Nutrition is a critical component of the immune response. Balanced nutrition enhances one’s ability to resist infections and remain healthy. It is mandatory to attain and maintain a good nutritional status to fight against the COVID-19 virus.
Nutritional status of individuals has been used as resilience towards destabilization during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Optimal nutrition and dietary nutrient intake impact the immune system, therefore the only sustainable way to survive in this current COVID context is to strengthen the immune system.