#Headlines

‘Gambia experiencing ‘triple burden of malnutrition’ 

Jan 13, 2022, 12:11 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb


Malang Fofana, deputy executive director at National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) has said that The Gambia is experiencing the ‘triple burden of malnutrition’ whereby under-nutrition, over-nutrition and micronutrient deficiency co-exist.

 

Mr. Fofana made these remarks Wednesday, during the launching of the Nutrition Week at a local hotel by the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

The Nutrition Week celebration is aimed at creating public awareness on the importance of healthy eating and adoption of desirable behaviours to address malnutrition in The Gambia. 

The UN Nutrition Working Group is supporting the initiative that is funded by FAO through the European Union-FAO co-funded project titled “Improving Food Security and Nutrition in The Gambia through Food Fortification.”

The Nutrition Week would provide time to reflect on the importance of healthy eating and the adoption of desirable behaviours especially the reduction on the consumption of processed foods high in fat, sugar and salt, and the promotion of the consumption of diversified diet rich in micronutrients particularly fortified and bio-fortified foods. 

The campaign also aims at making people knowledgeable on how to make good food and lifestyle-choices and develop healthy eating habits for themselves and others to enhance health and well-being. 

Mr. Fofana added that although there has been some significant improvements in reducing under-nutrition over the years, the prevalence rates are still unacceptably high, while overweight, obesity and diet related non-communicable diseases are increasingly becoming a challenge. 

Deputy Executive Director Fofana stated that under-nutrition is the single most important contributor to child mortality and leads to a significant loss in human and economic potential. 

“Under-nutrition, particularly stunting, which irreversibly impedes a child’s physical development and cognitive abilities, is still high in The Gambia. Despite having improvements in the reduction of stunting in the country over the past decade from 23.4% in 2010 to 17.5% in 2019/2020, child under-nutrition remains a persistent threat to the lives of Gambian children. Similarly, anaemia one of the most prevalent micro-nutrition deficiencies in the country has reduced drastically over the past years,” he highlighted. 

Fofana said child nutrition is linked with chronic food and nutrition insecurity, which is still prevalent in The Gambia. 

According to the draft report of the recently concluded Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA), food insecurity has increased from 5.6% in 2011 to 8% in 2016 and 13.4% in 2021 and Mr. Fofana said that has bearing on the nutritional status of women and children that can transmit from generation to generation. 

He also stated that in breaking the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition, emphasis should be placed on intervening in the 1,000 days “window of opportunity” i.e from conception to the first two years of the child’s life.

He further said that the “window of opportunity” is not only critical and compelling but also encompasses a vital part of the lives of both the mother and the child.

Read Other Articles In Headlines
Mama M.K. Manneh
Services on halt at NATC as climate change wreaks havoc
Sep 27, 2021, 12:18 PM

All public activities at the Njawara Agricultural Training Centre (NATC) have been put on stand till following a heavy windstorm that struck the country on 7 July 2021.

David Belgrove
New UK High Commissioner to present his credentials
Sep 30, 2020, 1:04 PM

State House, Banjul, 29th September 2020: His Excellency, President Adama Barrow will receive the Letters of Credence of the New British High Commissioner to The Gambia, H.E. David Belgrove-OBE, on Wednesday, 30th September 2020, at 11:00 am at the State House. 

Sallah and touray
Assembly summons VP over motion withdrawal
Jul 10, 2020, 11:57 AM

Legislators at the National Assembly on Thursday summoned the Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray to offer explanation on the withdrawal of the Motion for extension of the state of public emergency for a period of 45 days.

Sheriff Dibba
Late Hon. Sheriff Dibba’s family clarifies
Jul 8, 2021, 2:25 PM

The purpose of this publication is to clarify some statements by MC Cham at the TRRC that were made on February 2, 2019 during his testimony with regard to the Late Hon. Sheriff Mustapha Dibba. The whole purpose of this publication is for the sake of the truth. The TRRC was engaged and were notified of the irregularities in the statements made by Mr. Cham.