Journalists in Ghana participated in a workshop organized by the Coalition of Actors for Public Health Advocacy (CAPHA) in collaboration with Healthier Diets for Healthy Lives (HD4HL) Project partners.
The workshop aimed to enhance journalists' capacity to create awareness about key food-related policies, including food marketing regulation, food labeling, food-related fiscal policy, and public food procurement and service.
Dr. Kasim Abdulai, Executive Director of Operations for the HD4HL Project, emphasized the importance of media support in advocating for policies that contribute to healthier diets.
“This workshop is part of the advocacy strategy to garner the support of the media to help in creating awareness about the policies,” he stated.
During the workshop, Ms. Juliet A. Boateng from the Ghana NCD Alliance (GhNCDA) highlighted the significance of food labeling, emphasizing its role in providing comprehensive information to consumers.
She acknowledged the labeling efforts in Ghana but pointed out challenges such as legibility, unfamiliar language, false indications, and limited consumer knowledge.
Dr. Percival D. Agordoh, Vice President of the Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (GAND), discussed the need for effective marketing regulation policies.
He underscored the World Health Organization's findings on the lack of restrictive alcohol marketing policies globally and emphasized the role of policies in ensuring fair and ethical practices in the marketplace.
Mr. Suleman Yahya of the Institute of Leadership and Development (INSLA) focused on the World Health Organization's Action Framework on Healthy Public Food Procurement and Services Policies.
He highlighted the impact of unhealthy diets on global health and the need for regulations to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Addressing food-related fiscal policies, Mr. James Mckeown Amoah from the Ghana Public Health Association (GPHA) emphasized the effectiveness of taxes in addressing NCDs.
He referenced WHO statistics indicating that about 43% of all deaths in Ghana were due to NCDs, predicting that NCDs could become the leading cause of death in Africa by 2030.