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Physicians urged to collaborate with farmers to check use of dangerous chemicals for food production

A former Director General of Ghana Health Service, Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, has called on physicians to collaborate with farmers to ascertain the kind of chemicals used in producing foods for human consumption.

This, he said, would help reduce the number of liver diseases which affected many people as a result of the intake of toxic foods produced in the country.

“We wait for people to fall sick before they come and see us but in all our works there’s a part called preventive medicine and it is important for us as physicians to begin to talk to the farmers on how they produce their foods, fertilise the soil and the consequences associated with those toxins,” he said.

Prof. Akosa, a pathologist and researcher, disclosed this at the opening of the 7th Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM) of the Ghana Association for the Study of Liver and Digestive Diseases (GASLIDD) in Accra on Thursday.

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The three-day meeting was under the theme: “Collaborative Strategies to fight Common Digestive Disorders” and it aimed at discussing strategies to fight diseases associated with the liver and how best to prevent it.

Prof. Akosa said the use of chemicals in the production of foods endangered the safety of crops and consequently human lives.

He indicated that liver diseases were most commonly caused by a hepatitis virus caused by the intake of genetically modified foods.

He said the collaboration with the farmers would benefit the individuals and help the farmers know the right chemicals to be used in producing foods for human consumption.

“Instead of using fertilisers to spray the crops, you can weed around the plant, collect the weeded plant and put it around the stem of the plant, this will rot and serve as a fertiliser,” he added.

Prof. Akosa urged individuals to consume more fermented foods which were good for the body.

He explained that the fermented foods produced bacteria that had a potential probiotic effect to restore the balance of bacteria in the gut, support digestive health and alleviate any digestive issues.

“We must reduce the intake of sugar to prevent diabetes. Eating more fermented foods helps reduce the sugar, the bacteria that causes the fermentation is good and it goes to help in the gastric bacteria and help you fight diseases,” he stated.

The president of GASLIDD, Prof. Yaw Asante Awuku, said the liver was one of the important organs in the body, hence the need to be cautious about what one took into the body.

“If the liver is diseased, there are a lot of challenges, that’s why it’s important to be careful about what is taken into the stomach. When we talk about the digestive system it is from the mouth to the anus so that’s how we eat; we survive by eating, hence the need to live a healthy lifestyle,” he added.

He urged individuals to go for early check ups to test for their liver to prevent any liver disorders.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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