Meeting nurtritional needs in Rwanda

>> allAfrica.com: Rwanda: Micronutrients Vital for A Healthy Society (Page 1 of 1)

Nutrition and health are inseparable just like a pen and ink. When the ink dries up then the pen ceases to write just like a malnourished person who ceases to be healthy. Malnutrition is broadly defined as a medical condition caused by an improper or insufficient diet.

A nexus can be built between a community’s health status and its diet in terms of accessing the proper nutritional foods.

In Africa it is estimated that most of the 28 million people infected with HIV/AIDS found in the sub Saharan region, also suffer from malnutrition a result of poor conditions caused by poverty.

This very interesting and informative article looks at some of the causes and results of poor nutrition in Africa in general and Rwanda in particular.  The problem isn’t just a lack of food; often it’s a lack of the right kind of food.

Rwandan health experts have targeted a lack of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as a serious health problem that can and should be addressed.  Because the diet of most Rwandans is short on fruits, vegetables, and meat, “the Ministry of Health and the Parliament are currently considering a program that will fortify basic staple foods like salt, cassava, sorghum, and wheat” with the micronutrients usually lacking in these foods.

The article points out that this type of fortification could be very inexpensive, yet make a massive difference to the health of Rwanda’s people and society.  Not only can nutrient deficiencies cause health problems (iron deficiency, for example, can dramatically reduce energy and make childbirth more dangerous), they can make other illnesses — including HIV/AIDS — more dangerous and harder to treat.  In addition to improving the health of individuals, then, the fortification plan has the potential to increase the productivity of the nation as a whole, and free up government resources for new projects.

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~ by h.e.g. on August 31, 2008.

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