INSLA receives LINKS grant award to eliminate trans-fats


The Institute of Leadership and Development (INSLA), a non-profit civil society organization, has joined the LINKS grant awardees of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, to help eliminate trans-fats in Ghana.

The Resolve to Save Lives announced awards totalling more than US$1.1 million to improve cardiovascular health around the world, including addressing risk factors heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The INSLA joins LINKS awardees in Cameroon, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, and the Philippines to assist in preventing trans-fats in their various countries.

The LINKS is a highly competitive grant programme that connects people working to improve cardiovascular health around the world and is funded by Resolve to Save Lives with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

It is managed in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the CDC Foundation.

The current LINKS grant was the third, which followed two previous grant cycles in March 2019 and November 2019.
LINKS members are eligible to apply for one-time grants to improve cardiovascular health in their communities using one of three proven effective approaches to improving heart health: increasing control of high blood pressure, reducing salt intake or eliminating trans-fat.

It also provides members access to technical assistance from cardiovascular health experts from around the world, networking opportunities, useful tools for cardiovascular health and live webinars.

A statement issued by Mr Benjamin Anabila, the Director of INSLA, said despite the toll COVID-19 has taken on health around the world, cardiovascular disease remained the world’s leading killer and that it would cause more than six million premature deaths this year.

It said: “The funding will assist in raising awareness of the dangers of trans-fats, stimulate discussions in the traditional media while strengthening and sustaining political will towards the elimination of trans-fats among the citizenry.”

The statement said the INSLA would collaborate with the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, Food and Drugs Authority, and the University of Ghana to conduct advocacy campaigns to support policy measures that would include graphic health warnings on food labels and to produce educational materials on the dangers of trans-fats.

The World Health Organization has developed the REPLACE action package to support its goal of eliminating trans-fats from the global food supply by 2023.

“In response, 41 countries have successfully protected their people by passing best practice trans-fats elimination policies. Ghana has recognized the danger of trans-fats and has included a national policy commitment to eliminate trans-fats in alignment with its strategy for the management, prevention and control of chronic Non-Communicable Diseases.

The trans-fats could be found in cakes, cookies, biscuits, packaged foods, cooking oils and spread and linked to over half a million deaths globally, it said.

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