Forum deplores poor nutrition in ECOWAS

Banjul- Gambia (PANA) -- This year's ECOWAS Nutrition Forum opened in Banjul on Monday with a call on member states for concrete action to improve upon the nutrition status of their people.
Opening the 5-day forum, Gambian Vice-President Isatou Njie stressed the significance of improved nutritional status particularly among women and children in the sub-region.
"It has been documented that Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region with the least overall improvement in the nutritional status of its children," Njie noted, citing a UN report showing that 24 percent of stunted children in the developing world live in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"These depressing statistics, together with inadequate rainfall in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is threatening food security in most parts of our countries, make a convincing case for the prioritisation of nutrition in our sub-region," Njie observed.
Also addressing the forum, West African Health Organisation (WAHO) director general Dr Kebba T.
Joiner contended that "improving the nutritional status of women and children helps improve the health and socio-economic prospects of future  generations.
" Other speakers included the WHO Country Representative in the Gambia, Dr James Mwanzia.
The forum is being attended by participants from all the member countries of ECOWAS.
It ends on 6 September.

03 september 2002 21:36:00

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