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MINISTER OF HEALTH HARPS ON PROPER NUTRITION AS FUTA HOSTS HUMBOLDT CONFERENCE


MINISTER OF HEALTH HARPS ON PROPER NUTRITION AS FUTA HOSTS HUMBOLDT CONFERENCE

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole has said that a healthy diet translates to improved healthy wellbeing. He stated this while delivering the keynote address at the 2018 Alexander Von Humboldt Kolleg International Conference 2018 at the Federal University of Technology, Akure with the theme “Science and Technology as a Panacea to Revitalize Insurgence – Ravaged Economy in Achieving Wealth and Health Security”.   Adewole who was represented by Dr Liasu Adeagbo Ahmed, Director, Federal Medical entre Owo, said analysis has shown that dietary patterns affect the societal wellness of the populace of developing countries, affirming that poor diet translates to poor health. While exploring the relationship between food and health for societal wellness Professor Adewole said, there is strong association between Micronutrients in food and disease causing pathogens. He said poor nutrition contributes to stress, tiredness, and inability to work and can over time cause health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The Minister pointed out that when nutrient intake does not regularly meet nutritional needs, the metabolic processes of the body slow down, and according to him nutrients give the body instruction about how to function. He pointed out that a healthy eating plan includes vegetables, fruits, beans, lean meat, poultry fish, beans, eggs and nuts.  This diet he said, limits saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugars. Adewole disclosed that poor nutrient intake affects learning abilities in children and can cause mental dysfunction in adults. He said adequate levels of folic acid are essential for optimal brain function and folic deficiency can lead to neurological disorders such as depression and cognitive deficiency, depression and anxiety. The Don added that recent studies have shown that eating unhealthy food especially those high in sugar and fats contribute directly to the biologically and emotional state. 

The Minister said an improved quality in the dietary intake of individuals in order to promote a healthy wellbeing especially for children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa cannot be overemphasized. He said the effect of a healthy diet on an individual’s wellbeing is thus directly proportional. 

On her part the convener of the Kolleg, Professor Mrs. Oluwatooyin Osundahunsi of the department Food Science and Technology {FST} said the focus of the conference is to provide a research based solution to societal challenges of inadequate or improper nutrition facing Nigeria as a developing country especially while coming out of insurgency in order to ensure not only wealth for the adults but good health for the children.   She pointed out that increased hunger in the society has shown that increase in food production will translate to food for all, when deterioration and spoilage are curtailed. 

Osundahunsi noted that good maternal nutrition in addition to adequate nutrient for children is critical to maintain the nutrition of the generations in the future.  She said “the present age will determine the future generation.  It is therefore imperative to harness need driven research efforts for intervention to transform malnutrition issues in Nigeria especially as the country is having sustained commitment against insurgence.”

In his remarks, the Consular General, Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Ingo Herbert represented by the Deputy General Secretary, Alexander Von Humboldt Germany, Dr. Thomas Hesse, said the selection criteria of the foundation is excellence scholarly and scientific research as well as promising academic potential that accords successful applicants an extended stay in Germany working on independent research projects and forming networks. 

He lauded Nigeria for having 202 Humboldtian of 630 in Sub-Saharan Africa which is the strongest Humboldtian network in Sub-Saharan Africa.  He said the Humboldt network comprises diverse academics which has great potential in promoting sustainable research in higher education. Dr. Hesse pointed out that Humboldtians share experience and expertise, while achieving food security, promoting wellbeing, strengthening capacities and combating climate change in their home countries.

While declaring the Kolleg open, the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Professor Joseph Fuwape said “if our economy is to be revitalized and made competitive to the overall benefit of Nigerians, science and technology must be embraced and given priority attention. He said pursuit of happiness, provision of modern health care facilities, ensuring conducive environment to guarantee prosperity and wealth are fundamental rights to which citizens long and aspire. Government on the other hand has a duty to ensure that these inalienable rights are guaranteed, irrespective of which one is domiciled within the geographical boundary called Nigeria.”