The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has launched its annual World Pharmacists Day celebrations with a focus on tackling obesity among the Ghanaian population.
In line with this, all community pharmacies across the country will offer free Body Mass Index (BMI) checks and appropriate counselling on obesity for all clients who will be willing to take advantage of the service.
Vice President of the PSGH, Mr Kwabena Asante Offei, who performed the national launch of the Day, said the PSGH would over the next one-year increase sensitisation and awareness among the public on obesity and its complications to help reduce the disease burden and maintain a healthy population.
Marked every September 25, the World Pharmacists Day celebrates the contribution of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists to healthcare delivery, global health outcomes and nation building.
The day will be commemorated on the theme: “Pharmacy united in action for a healthier world,” to showcase the positive impact of diverse pharmaceutical expertise on health around the world and to further strengthen solidarity within the profession.
Mr Offei said obesity was gradually becoming a serious public health concern globally, contributing significantly to the development of several chronic diseases such as type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension, some cancers, asthma and psychological stress, among others.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that at least 2·8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. There is a high and rising prevalence of overweight and obesity among Ghanaian adults
“In Ghana, there is a high and rising prevalence of overweight and obesity among Ghanaian adults,”he said, adding that research by a renowned pharmacist, Richard Ofori-Asenso and his colleagues indicates that nearly 43% of Ghanaian adults are either overweight or obese, particularly among those living in urban and peri-urban areas.
According to them, the possible implications of the obesity epidemic in Ghana on current and future population health, burden of chronic diseases, health care spending and broader economy could be enormous for a country still battling many infectious and parasitic diseases.”
“Given the above scary statistics, the PSGH chosen theme for our public health activities for 2022 & 2023 is on Obesity, dubbed “My Weight My Health”. The PSGH will, through its regional branches and wide network of community pharmacies across the country, create and sustain awareness about overweight and obesity complications,”Mr Offei said.
The Director of Pharmaceutical Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Mrs Joycelyn Azeez, lauded the PSGH for the initiative on obesity and encouraged Ghanaians to adopt healthy eating habits to reduce the threat.
She said the rising cases of non-communicable diseases in the country were largely due to obesity and there was the need to educate the public to reduce the threat.
“It is quite a neglected area yet very dangerous and we hope within the one year, we will have an impact of people reducing their weight and it will be translated into health.”
Meanwhile, members of the society embarked on a health walk to improve their fitness.