Saly- Senegal (PANA) -- The West African Health Organisation (WAHO) is tackling malnutrition under priority programme for the 2003-2007 period, an official has said.
"We will lay particular emphasis on the fight against malnutrition, which affects about 50 percent of West African children," Kambou Stanislas, WAHO's head of information, said Thursday in Saly, 80-km south-west of Dakar, the Senegalese capital.
He said diseases such as malaria, measles and yellow fever were taking "a terrible toll on children in the region mainly because of malnutrition".
Stanislas said the WAHO programme would involve providing training to nutritionists in the 15 ECOWAS member countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.
"We have noticed that our countries lack nutritionists and we have decided to launch a training programme to address these inadequacies.
"For the time being, we are identifying schools in the sub- region which provide integrated training," said the WAHO official, who is attending a five-day regional workshop in Senegal.
The meeting focuses on integrated management of childhood diseases.
Measles, meningitis, yellow fever and HIV/AIDS are also targeted under the 2003-2007 programme financed by ECOWAS to the tune of two billion CFA francs.
(750 CFA francs=1USD).
WAHO, an ECOWAS health agency is based in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.