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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Nigeria lauded for building momentum for trans fat-free Africa

Nigeria has been congratulated on the passage of its new best practice trans-fat elimination policy, which it is said will save approximately 1,200 lives per year. As the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria is believed to have set a powerful example for other African nations that wish to protect the heart health of their people and reach for a trans fat-free Africa.

Trans fat foods
Trans fat foods

Dr. Renu Garg, Senior Vice President of Cardiovascular Health at Resolve to Save Lives, who made the submission in a statement on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, said: “Not only would passing best practice policies help to reduce the burden of heart disease throughout Africa, but it would inhibit the dumping of unhealthy foods into Africa as the rest of the world passes policies to ban the toxic food additive. Already, nearly half of the world’s population is covered by trans-fat free policies.”

He described the regulation as the result of years of work and partnership between the Federal Ministry of Health; Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); the Network for Health Equity and Development; Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA); Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI); and Resolve to Save Lives.

“We look forward to supporting the Ministry of Health and NAFDAC to implement the regulation and apply for the World Health Organisation’s validation programme which will recognise countries that have officially eliminated industrially produced trans-fat from their food supply,” Garg stated.

The World Health Organisation has partnered with Resolve to Save Lives, a not-for-profit organisation, to support the development and implementation of the REPLACE action package. Launched in 2018, the WHO’s REPLACE action package provides a strategic approach to eliminating industrially produced trans-fat from national food supplies. Global trans-fat elimination can save more than 17 million lives over the next 25 years and prevent at least twice as many heart attacks.

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