GAMBIA GOVERNMENT ADMITS MALNUTRITION CONTROL FAILURE

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Vice President Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy

Vice President Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy

Gambia government has admitted its failure on the fight against malnutrition which has been affecting many children and pregnant women in the country

This was contained in statement delivered

by the Vice President and Minister responsible for Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, at the Sheraton Hotel. She made the remarks while delivering her opening statement on the Post-Congress workshop of the III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition.

According to Madam Njie Saidy, despite some achievements over the years in food security, which led to the award to The Gambia by FAO for reducing undernourishment, childhood malnutrition still remains a problem in the country.
“The Demographic and Health Survey (2013) has revealed that stunting – being too short for age – affects 25 per cent of children under five in the country, while wasting – being too thin for height – affects 12 per cent of the under-five population”.
Micronutrient deficiencies, especially iron deficiency anaemia, vitamin A deficiency and iodine deficiency disorders are also prevalent to a mild-moderate degree in the country, she said.

“Many third world countries, including The Gambia, are now faced with the double burden of malnutrition with the emergence of diet-related non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cancers”.
“This is compounded by the vagaries of climate change with its attendant negative consequences such as late onset of rains, erratic rainfall, early cessation of rainfall, floods and droughts that further exacerbate the already fragile household food security situation,” VP Njie-Saidy added.

According to Vice president Njie Saidy, Gambia is a member of international organisations, including the ECOWAS Nutrition Forum under the West Africa Health Organisation and the Scaling Up of Nutrition (SUN) Movement established by the UN Secretary General to promote better coordination in the field of nutrition and to fight against malnutrition.
“SUN under the UN is a unique movement founded on the principle that all people have a right to food and good nutrition,” she further stated.

She further revealed that their partnership with Nutrition without Borders with the establishment of first CREN in Basse Mansanjang URR and recently in Soma LRR, the nutrition rehabilitation centres are really contributing to the reduction of the drop in infant mortality observed in the country.


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