Head of dietetics Department at the National Hospital, Abuja, Mrs Sarah Abagai, has urged the government at all levels to deploy dieticians to Primary Health Care centres (PHCs) to enable rural dwellers access culturally relevant nutritional information.
Abagai, who made the appeal in Abuja said secrets of eating to live healthy are nutritional information which needs to be disseminated by dieticians at both primary and tertiary healthcare facilities to sanitise food habits of Nigerians.
However, Abagai noted that most trained dieticians were mainly at the urban centres and tertiary health facilities, adding that people at the grass root were deprived of nutritional education.
She said globally food has been recognised as the most important aspect of man’s lifestyle, a source that sustains or shortens life, hence the need for Nigerians to develop and practice healthy eating habits.
“I discovered a wide gap in the flow of nutritional information that Nigerians can relate to and it takes awareness for people to develop and practice healthy eating habits. Poor dietary habits can result in disease condition which develops slowly in the body without the realisation of the person. However, there is no information as critical as what will enable people live physically, mentally and emotionally energetic and healthy,’’ the expert said.
Abagai stressed that when diseases begin to manifest, people are compelled to imbibe healthy eating habits to treat and manage diseases.
She further enjoined Nigerians to acquire relevant nutritional information, adopt preventive measures and not to be compelled by diseases to eat right and live healthy.