Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2022 is health promoter – Academy

Hajia Hamdaratu Dauda Wumbei, the Chairperson of the Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2022 will protect public health by reducing the consumption of health-harming products.

She said the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, alcohol and tobacco caused non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and diabetes.

Sugar-sweetened beverages were too many on the market and causing overweight and obesity among children and adolescents, the Chairperson said.

‘If measures are not taken now the children would become incubators of NCDs in future,’ she said.

Hajia Wumbei said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a news conference organised by the Ghana NCD Alliance, in collaboration with the University of Ghana School of Public Health, Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Ghana Public Health Association.

It aimed at highlighting the health benefits of the Excise Duty Amendment Bill, passed by Parliament on the night of March 31, 2023. The Bill is now awaiting Presidential assent.

Hajia Wumbei said, the Bill’s intention was not to destroy businesses or cause unemployment but to control the consumption of health-harming products through price increases, which would affect the purchasing power of the consumer, leading to a reduction in consumption.

She gave the assurance that members of the Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics were readily available to support industry players with new recipes to meet the demands of the public.

Ms Annabel Yeboah-Nkrumah of the University of Ghana School of Public Health said the cost of NCDs treatment was huge, which the poor in society could not afford, hence the need for prevention through tax increases on products that cause the disease.

‘Ghanaians should not look at industry players who are only thinking of their profit but rather the poor and the human lives that are lost through their products. People are on lifelong medication, which is affecting the finances of their families,’ she said.

She urged parents to avoid buying sugar-sweetened beverages for their children to protect them from NCDs.

Source: Ghana News Agency