Third quarter implementation for FBD Guidelines
GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Food Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDGs) are intended to help persons above the age of two years to improve their eating habits and promote nutritional wellbeing. The Food Policy Division of the Ministry of Public Health is working towards implementing a revised version of Food Based Dietary Guidelines during Guyana’s observance of Nutrition Awareness week in August 2017.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings says that these guidelines will provide usable information for decision-makers and other users in the relevant sectors.
“Guyana’s revised Food Based Dietary Guidelines will be completed by July 2017 and will be launched during the Nutrition Awareness week of activities. There is currently a Draft of the New Nutrition Strategy being funded by UNICEF- since the previous strategy expired in 2015. The strategy is currently being reviewed internally at the Ministry of Public Health and a meeting with key stakeholders to review the first draft has been planned for January 2017.” Minister Cummings said.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health had launched the FBDG project. The project seeks to present the health and nutrition situation of Guyana, the findings from the evaluation and the revision of the existing FBDG to determine priority issues that needs to be addressed and to establish a national FBDG Task Force.
The Minister added that, “We saw the FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, its a UN organisation programme with the Ministry of Public Health holding multi-stakeholder sessions in regard to Food Based Dietary Guidelines, so five persons were trained to be a part of the research team to conduct surveys on the knowledge and use of the current Food Based Dietary Guidelines for Guyana.”
The Food Policy division is responsible for ensuring Guyanese benefit from a high standard of Nutrition through surveillance and education. Other objectives include Nutrition Surveillance, Nutrition Education, Breastfeeding Education and Anaemia Education.
Minister Cummings pointed out that an informed population is likely to make informed choices, therefore FBDGs and the other programmes such as nutrition education play a vital role towards ensuring that Guyanese are aware of what nutrients their body requires. The revised Food Based Dietary Guidelines will promote the effective use of the six food groups towards maintaining a healthy diet.
The Ministry of Public Health’s agenda is for all Guyanese to be among the healthiest in the Caribbean and the Americas by the year 2020. Proper nutrition plays a vital role towards ensuring that this vision is realised, since it has major bearing on the overall individual physical health.
By: Delicia Haynes