The Catholic Relief Services has donated analytical devices and equipment valued at $90, 000 to the Food and Drugs Authority as part of their support to the government’s public health initiatives.
The devices will reinforce the capacity of regulatory control and monitoring institutions.
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said the devices included eight rapid test kits, iCheck devices including 2 iCheck Chroma, 2 iCheck Iron and 4 iCheck Iodine and reagent kits for the rapid quantitative detection of iron, vitamin A and iodine in wheat flour, vegetable oil and salt respectively.
The statement said Mr Daniel Mumuni, Country Representative of CRS who donated the devices said they would contribute to achieving impact on improving micronutrient intake in Ghana and neighboring countries importing fortified food from Ghana as well as imported fortified food into Ghana.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an American non-governmental organization founded in 1943 by the bishops of the United States.
CRS carries out the commitment of the bishops of the United States to serve the poor and vulnerable overseas.
“We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to value, protect and defend the sacredness and dignity of all human life, to promote charity and justice, and to embody Catholic social and moral teaching.
“As part of the universal mission of the Catholic Church, we work with local, national, and international Catholic institutions and structures, as well as other organizations, to help people on the basis of need, not creed, race or nationality”.
The statement said the Catholic Relief Services in partnership with GIZ had initiated the second phase of the ECOWAS wide regional large-scale food fortification project in West Africa project to expand and improve large-scale food fortification to contribute to addressing the high burden of micronutrient deficiencies and its public health consequences in the most vulnerable, women, girls and school age children.
“One of the specific objectives of the first phase of the project was to identify the fundamental challenges of food fortification in ECOWAS countries, based on assessments of key regional and national institutions working to promote sustainable LSFF in West Africa, including national food fortification alliances and regulatory monitoring and control structures.
“Therefore, following capacity assessments of public and private actors, CRS is helping to fill the gaps by strengthening the capacity of public sector institutions to enforce mandatory policies and regulations to improve compliance with food fortification standards.
It gave the assurance that they would be available to continue working to improve the health of the people of Ghana and thanked and congratulated public and private sector stakeholders for their food fortification programme.
Mrs Delese Darko, Chief Executive Officer of FDA expressed optimism that the devices would enhance the work of the authority.
“The donation is part of efforts by the project to strengthen the capacities of public sector institutions on control and regulatory monitoring systems, in large-scale food fortification in Ghana.
The three-day capacity strengthening programme targeted participants from the FDA across the country, Customs Excise & Preventive Service, Ghana Health Service, Ghana Standards Authority, and Ghana Police Service.