OBAASIMA Seal and Campaign developed under the Affordable Nutritious Foods for Women (ANF4W) project, as a trademark for quality fortified food products targeted at Ghanaian women of reproductive age, has been launched in Accra.
The OBAASIMA scheme is a partnership between the German Development Cooperation and the private sector in Ghana.
Quality fortified foods, with the OBAASIMA Seal on them, adds 18 vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, and 12, Folic Acid, Vitamin C as well as Calcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium and Zinc, to women’s diet, to overcome micronutrients-malnutrition or “hidden hunger”, a condition affecting two billion people worldwide.
The seal was developed by ANF4W’s in cooperation with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
Speaking at the launch, Ms Verena Wiesner, the Representative of the German Ambassador to Ghana, emphasised the importance of investing in women’s health as sure way of building resilient families.
Ms Wiesner said children with insufficient micro nutrients have the risk of reduced learning capacity which would influence their development and that of Ghana.
She said ANF4W is a public private partnership between the German Government-Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development -and its funding partners, the children Investments Fund Foundation, DSM and Sight and Life, and Ajinomoto.
“The goal is a commercial solution to micronutrients malnutrition because we believe that a commercial solution is also a sustainable solution to the problem,” she added.
Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection said many women found it difficult to maintain a healthy diet but eating a balanced diet was especially important for women to boost fertility, ease symptoms of menopause and make pregnancy and nursing easier.
She said the initiative supports the LEAP 1,000 which seeks to address malnutrition and stunting amongst children as well as to reduce maternal death, adding, “The Ministry is guarantying that we will work in partnership together with the Ghana Health Service and all the agencies to ensure this initiative works.
“We will also ensure that women and girls in the country eat quality and affordable nutritious food that will enhance their health and life expectancy so that they give off their best in contributing to sustainable development,” she said
Mr Seth Twum Akwaboah, the Chief Executive of AGI, mentioned that the OBAASIMA board is currently auditing three companies who have applied for the seal including shito which is available in sachet form, milk biscuits and instant porridge.
Mr Frank Kofi Nagetey, the Deputy Executive Director in charge of Commercial Services at the GSA, encouraged food processers to subscribe to the service to fortify their products for the betterment of the Ghanaian population.
He added that in Ghana, anaemia or iron deficiency remains a common problem and these micronutrient deficiencies can be assuaged by complementing our diets with OBAASIMA foods.