WHO reports rising malnutrition among pre-school children

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- The World Health Organisation (WHO) says about half of the 10.
7 million pre-school children in developing countries die annually from malnutrition.
   In a report Wednesday to participants at a joint WHO/Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) forum in Nairobi, WHO said that globally, 850 million people suffered from malnutrition, up from 750 million a decade ago.
The statistics were contained in a speech by WHO Regional Director for Africa, Ebrahim Samba, delivered on his behalf by Dominic Mutie of WHO Kenya office.
The forum on the development and implementation of national inter-sectoral food and nutrition policies in sub-Saharan Africa, brings together participants from seven Anglophone African countries, to review progress made since the 1992 International Conference on Nutrition held in Rome, Italy.
   Participants are expected to discuss the translation of national plans into operational programmes to combat malnutrition.
Samba acknowledged that hunger and malnutrition remained the most devastating problems facing the majority of people in poor countries, affecting over 30 percent of children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.
    He said at the 1992 conference, nutrition was considered a priority, since it influences the sustainability of human development.
FAO Representative in Kenya, Dan Gustafson, spoke of a large disparity between the wealth of human resource and the reduction of malnutrition.
    He urged participants to suggest strategies to remove the impediments to the implementation of the respective national plans.
Kenyan Public Health Minister, Sam Ongeri, cited adverse weather, large human movements during natural or man-made disasters, change in eating habits and lifestyles, as some challenges to food and nutrition programmes.
He said Kenya has elaborate plans to reduce by half the proportion of people suffering from hunger in the country by 2015.
    Ongeri said effective and sustainable national food and nutrition policies would be integrated into on-going socio-economic reforms and poverty alleviation programmes in Kenya.

27 février 2002 10:46:00

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