Malnutrition claims millions of lives: FAO Country Rep.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The country representative of the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations has disclosed that these last years’ progress has been made to reduce all forms of malnutrition. However, she added, it is still insufficient because malnutrition still claims the lives of millions of people and robs millions more of a dignified life.

Dr. Katepa Kalala made these remarks on Thursday during the opening of a two-day capacity forum for in-country stakeholders, as members of the National Alliance for Food Fortification (NAFF) at a hotel in Kololi.

Furthermore, micro-nutrients deficiencies, she observed, have profoundly negative implications for child and maternal health.

‘Unfortunately, they often go unnoticed for a long time in individuals before symptoms become apparent. Achieving nutrients full impact on health and development outcomes requires joint and coordinated effort. Therefore, effective and sustainable food fortification as well as bio-fortification will be possible only if the public sector, private sector and the civil society collaborate to develop, produce and promote micronutrient-fortified foods.’

She acknowledged that the government of The Gambia is leading the way to better nutrition for all, saying this effort involves different sectors including health, agriculture, education and social protection.

Parliamentarians, she said, also need to be fully engaged as they make laws and set the budgets that will support better nutrition. 

‘For public-private sectors partnership to be successful, they need clear structures, transparent working arrangement as well as an effective management and coordination structure to provide coherence, continues communication and to measure performance’.

The FAO country rep., maintained her institutions continued support to The Gambia’s effort to combat food insecurity and malnutrition by providing pragmatic, concrete and sustainable solutions. The EU, funded project, she added, is one of the many FAO initiatives designed to fight against food insecurity and malnutrition in partnership with The Gambia government. 

Author: Sheriff Janko