By Ummul Idris
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has inaugurated a Technical Working Group for the elimination of Trans Fatty Acids (TFAs) foods in Nigeria.
Inaugurating the committee on Saturday in Abuja, the NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile, said the exercise was in collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the health sector.
Faduyile said it was a follow up to the launch of the ICON project earlier in the year.
“This is a follow up to the implementation of a policy of the World Health Organisation (WHO) endorsed by the Federal Government,’’ he said.
The Naija Politico (Naija Politico) reports that the mandate of the committee is to work out modalities for the implementation of “improving the cardiovascular health of Nigerians’’.
The NMA president explained that the focus would be to eliminate cardiovascular diseases in the country.
According to him, it had been scientifically proven that the consumption of TFAs is one of the major causes of many cardiovascular deaths as sudden deaths syndrome which had taken a toll on Nigerians.
“Today is the formal inauguration of the multi-stakeholders Technical Group which we expect to stand till Nigerians begin to reverse the losses due to sudden deaths and others traders to NCDS generally and TFAs in particular.’’
He, however, urged all stakeholders to work assiduously towards the elimination or reduction to no less than two per cent of TFAs in our food supply chain.
Naija Politico reports that some of the agencies in the committee include NAFDAC, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Consumer Protection Council, Federal Ministry of Health, National Council of Women Society, Association of Health Journalists and other stakeholders.
Naija Politico recalls that the NMA had earlier urged NAFDAC to ban the importation, production and distribution of products with Trans Fatty Acids (TFAs) content in the country.
The association made the appeal at the launch of improving cardiovascular health of Nigerians (ICON) project.
NMA also called on relevant stakeholders to respond to the clarion call by WHO for countries to take conscientious steps to eliminate or reduce the consumption of all forms of industrially produced TFAs.
Reports say there are overwhelming bodies of evidence of the harmful effects of TFAs in our diets, justifying the rationale for outright ban or a reduction to two per cent in all consumables on the country.
Naija Politico also reports that the setting up of a committee had birthed a sustainable vehicle through a platform to engage all stakeholders.