Consultative Forum for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on the World Health Organization (WHO) Healthy Public Food Procurement and Service Policies (PFP) Action Framework

The Institute of Leadership and Development (INSLA) on the 20th day of July 2023, 10:00am, at the Maamobi /Kanda Library, organised a forum to introduce some civil society organizations INSLA has being working with to the Healthy Diets for Healthy Lives (HD4HL) project and to also sensitize them on the need to use their platforms to create awareness on healthy diets to the general populace.

The program started with Mr Yahaya, the coordinator of the project presenting on the WHO Public Food Procurement and Service Policies (PFP) Action Framework to the house. He started by mentioning that the WHO Action framework was developed to promote healthy and sustainable diets, food safety and adequate macro- and micronutrient intake to prevent all forms of malnutrition, the policies ensure that food the government purchases, serves, and/or sells in and through public institutions meet healthy nutrition standard. He continued to state that unhealthy diets are responsible for millions of deaths worldwide and also the leading risk factor for death and disability. According to (Source: WHO PFPS) Diets which include excess salt, sugars and bad fats kill around 8 million people yearly.

He also mentioned that NCDs account for 42% of total deaths and 31% of disease burden in Ghana, it kills an estimated 86,200 persons in Ghana with 55.5% of them aged less than 70 years. (Source: WHO). Mr Yahaya then highlighted on healthy diets and sustainable developments goals. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3, 2 and 12. SDG 2 which states that ‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’. He emphasized that the aim of SDG 2 is to ensure that everyone everywhere has access to enough quality food for a healthy life. He also explained that SDG 3 also seeks to ensure that healthy lives and promotion  of well- being for all at all ages whiles SDG 12 also focuses on increasing resource efficiency and promote sustainable lifestyles. He also explained that, it is not enough to talk about foods in the market but there is the need to take action (regulations) at the production stage so that foods we eat will at least be healthy.  He also mentioned that when we do not take healthy foods the body will suffer and that food should be taken as medicine to the body and not medicine as food for the body. He spoke about taking advantage of colour coding with foods as done in other countries that the health of the populace should be considered when producing food and not profit alone.

He also stated that the WHO Public Food Procurement and Service Policies Action framework is a document that seeks to support countries to develop, implement, assess compliance and evaluate the effectiveness of a healthy public food procurement and service policy. Mr Yahaya continued by elaborating on the core principles of healthy diets as;

  1. Limit the intake of sugars
  2. Shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats, and eliminate iTFA.
  3. Limit sodium consumption and ensure that salt is iodized
  4. Increase consumption of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc.
  5. Ensure the availability of free, safe drinking water.

He concluded by stating that if government prioritize a policy on Healthy Diets, it will go a long way to keep everyone (public food places) in check to produce food according to the standards of the policy and in the long run breed a healthy nation.


Mr Issah Ali, the Project Manager at INSLA spoke about the Healthier Diets for Healthier Lives Project where he mentioned CAPHA as the lead for the project. He also mentioned the various organizations that were partnering the project and the role everyone organization had to play. He continued to explain that this project should be considered as a priority since diets affect everyone. He also told the house that everyone should involve itself in the sensitization task and speak about Healthy diets whenever they have the chance or opportunity to do so.

Mr Ali further told the house to avail themselves and join hands to make INSLA’s role in the HD4HL project a success. Also he mentioned that, in the western part of the world, people are responsible for their health because food products have labels that informs people of what is in the product and leaves them with the option of choosing what to consume at their own risk. He continued to state that CSOs must raise public awareness on Public Food Procurement for the whole populace to know that there is the need for a law to enforce food makers, public food places to adhere to the standard of the policy.

Mr Ebenezer Adams of Stroke Association Network (SASNET) mentioned that the whole food chain needs to be assessed from the production stage to the last consumer stage. He continued to explain that from the production stage of foods, harmful chemicals and product are introduced to the foods which causes harm to the mankind. He mentioned that the whole system needs to be assessed so that addition of harmful chemicals can be prevented from the early stages.

Mrs Juliana Okine of Juliana Holistic Health Care Services also mentioned that this project should be priority because healthier diets indeed leads to healthier lives. That being said she mentioned that, because of high price of food products and food stuffs in the country even if people want to eat healthy foods they cannot afford. She continued to say that foodstuffs are perishing on farm lands because there are no means to bring them to the cities hereby making foodstuffs price very expensive. She also advised that while’s sensitization is on-going, there should be another advocacy to be done to seek for help to address the issue of foods perishing on the farms. She also spoke about methods of preserving foodstuffs for rainy days and also make good use of resources in the country for food to be available always.

Mr Annan Samuel the treasurer of Coalitions of NGOs in Health also stated that this fight is a very big one and that if we want to get it right there should be sensitization from schools (primary to secondary), markets places, food joints, local farmers and restaurants so that everyone will be involved. He continued to say that we need to get everyone to understand the situation on ground so that people have insights about what they consume and the effects it has on them.

The meeting came to an end with every participant agreeing that this call for sensitization for a policy on public food procurement and services or healthier diets was a priority and agreed to do their best in their own way to ensure that a larger populace will be sensitized.