A new seal to deliver women and children from anemia and malnutrition has been launched at a grand ceremony at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, Thursday.
The green and yellow Obaasima seal with an outstretched arms of a woman who appears to be celebrating her freedom from mal-nutrition represents quality on all fortified foods.
Whatever product on which the seal is placed means that product is fortified and has all 18 vitamins and minerals needed for healthy growth of reproductive women and children.
The Obaasima seal is a collaborative effort of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) both of which are managers of the seal.
In his welcome address, a Commissioner with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa described the development of the seal as a significant leap in addressing micronutrient deficiency in women and children.
According to him, at least 60% of women in the reproductive group are anemic, a situation which does not augur well for the women and children.
In an attempt to solve this canker, the AGI, the GSA and other development partners struck a fruitful partnership some three years ago which has culminated into the Obaasima seal.
Prof Badu Akosa and rep of the German Embassy¬†Verena Wiesner
Obaasima, is a twi word for an ideal or complete woman and the hope is that through the use of the seal on products, women and children will be directed towards purchasing the certified products needed for healthy growth.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries Seth Twum Akabuah was elated by the partnership with the Standards Authority which has resulted in the certification of products.
He said certification is so important to other countries that products without the necessary certification are not allowed entry.
He said through the Obaasima seal, they will not only ensure quality of products but bring about competitiveness in the Association of industries.
According to him, the Obaasima Board is currently considering the Obaasima certification for three companies Shito, milk biscuits and instant porridge producers.
Twum Akabuah said the dream of AGI is to go beyond certification of food products into other areas of industry, adding, they will not compromise on quality.
Gender Minister Otiko Afisa Djaba expressed regret that in spite of the enormous tasks women have to perform, including child bearing, house chores, they barely have a balanced nutrition.
"A hungry woman will be angry at everybody," she said, adding, it doesn't matter the size or quantity of food eaten. What matters is the quality of the nutrients in the food.
Sketch on malnutrition
She was particularly happy with the introduction of the Obaasima campaign which she believed is crucial towards a ensuring quality foods for pregnant women.
"I feel like getting pregnant all over again," she said triggering a hearty laughter and applause from the crowd.
She pledged her ministry's unflinching support for the Obaasima seal, saying she will incorporate it into the her outfit's leap 1000 program which is aimed supporting maternal health.
Speaking on behalf of the German Ambassador, Verena Wiesner, said the Embassy has always been supportive of the country's youth and private sector.
She was elated about the Obaasima seal which appeared to have struck a good partnership between the youth and the private sector.
As partners for the campaign, Verena Wiesner said the German Embassy will support the program as a way to solving malnutrition in the country.
The seal was outdoored in a grand style after a beautiful sketch by the LAUGH FOR LIVES AFRICA, a social enterprise program which uses Development Communication and theatre to tackle socio-economic issues.