37 Media personalities drawn from various media house in Ghana received training on the role of fortification in addressing micronutrient deficiency. The workshop organized by Nestlé Ghana on 16th June 2015 brought together TV, Print, Radio and Online media houses with special interest in Health and Nutrition. The aim of the capacity building of the the media in helping address the issue of micronutrient deficiency in sub-Saharan Africa.
Micronutrients are essential for growth and development; however, deficiencies or inadequate
dietary intake remain a challenge for an estimated one-third of the global population. The UN and the WHO estimate that over 2 billion people around the world, mostly young children and women of child-bearing age, suffer from deficiencies in micronutrients (i.e. essential vitamins and minerals).
The consequences of long-term iron deficiency can include impaired mental development in children, decreased physical work capacity and impaired immune function. Young children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to iron deficiency because they need higher levels of the mineral for growth.
In a statement on behalf of the Managing Director, the HR Manager Antoinette Arkoh emphasized that, Nestlé, a leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company, is committed to providing educational programmes for good nutrition and feeding practices and helps the media and healthcare professionals to have a greater impact on the nutritional aspects of care of future generations.
“We’ve committed to help reduce the risk of under-nutrition through the fortification of affordable, nutritious foods and beverages, with a particular focus on micronutrient deficiencies in young children and women of childbearing age. Nestlé is committed to helping address micronutrient deficiencies, for example by using information from national and international health authorities to provide fortified, affordable and nutritious foods and beverages in areas with high risk of deficiencies.
Giving her opening remarks at the event, Lecturer of Media and Communication studies at the School of Communications of the University of Ghana, Dr. Etse Sikanku highlighted the role of the media in educating the general public on health issues by appropriating research with advocacy and reporting on general health and wellbeing to the public.
Speaking on the topic of micronutrient deficiency, an expert from University of Ghana, Nutrition and Food Science Department stated that: Iron deficiency and anaemia reduce the work capacity of individuals and entire populations, bringing serious economic consequences and obstacles to national development. Overall, it is the most vulnerable, the poorest and the least educated who are disproportionately affected by iron deficiency, and they stand to gain the most by its reduction
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