Nutrition as we have talked about a lot at F4CI is crucial towards ending poverty. Providing good nutrition for young children is essential towards their healthy development as adults and contributes significantly towards the health of a person in later life. Good health can stave or Malaria, HIV, AIDS, Diarrhoa and many other illnesses which can cause death. Helping people live longer helps them work, be educated, earn higher leves of income and benefit the economy.
Today we are going to have a quick look at some foods in Ghana and how good the current Ghanain diet is.
Conventional west African fufu is made by boiling such starchy foods as cassava, yam, plantain or rice, then pounding them into a glutinous mass, usually in a giant, wooden mortar and pestle.
Banku/Akple: Fermented corn/cassava dough mixed proportionally and cooked in hot water into a smooth whitish consistent paste. Served with soup, stew or a pepper sauce with fish.
Ampesi: A meal of either boiled yam/plantain/cocoyam/cassava or a mix of any two or all of them served with stew/gravy/kontomire or thick palm-nut soup.
Gari is made from fresh cassava, which is grated and the excess liquid is then squeezed out. The remaining cassava is then fried with over an open fire, on a broad metal pan that has been greased with a little oil, could be palm oil or other vegetable fat.
The result product is crisp and crunchy to taste, and is stored easily and can be eaten with stew or soup or shito and fish. Or in secondary schools it can be soaked with water milk and sugar.
The Current Diet
The above foods are examples of popular favourite Ghanain dishes with the most popular being fufu. These dishes are often starchy and based on root crops such as yams and cassava. Ghanains also rely on fruit and cereals. This means that most Ghanains have food that meets their energy requirements however there is a lack of lipids and protein in the diet. This would not appear the most serious of problems, more so would be the acute and chronic malnourishment in particular areas of Ghana such as the north, and among some of the young, of which a quarter may be staunted. The prevalance of malnutrition has come down in the country, partly also due to breastfeeding increasing which is needed to help boost the nutrition of young children. The issues of poor nutrition in the north and among children persists mainly due to transport issues, unstable production and insufficient purchsing power.
Ghana has made progress in pockets of the country, namely in the more built up south, however areas such as the north need more work to help them flourish.
In summary Ghana has a starchy diet with foods such as fruit and cereals. Most of their favourite dishes are based on various derivations of these basic products. The diet as well as breastfeeding and school feeding programs have helped Ghana become reasonably sufficient nutritionally at least in pockets of the country. The country is making progress in these areas and is moving towards a more consistent nutritional coverage of the country. This shows the country is making progress and that at least malnutrition is not as widespread as it used to be. In terms of moving forward NGO’s and governments should look to assist the northern regions of the country and continue to help those in areas already being help ensuring that the pockets which are suffering are subsequently assissted.