Remy Ejel, the Market Head for Nestle CWAR Ltd, has called on Africans to take more iron in their meal. He said that iron deficiency in the body has undermined the lives of Millions in Africa. He believes the best time to end iron deficiency in our body is now.
Ejel pointed out that Iron is a key nutrient to develop children’s brains and help adults live productive lives. This iron, he noted is acutely lacking in people’s diets, especially in Africa.
Speaking in Accra, Ghana, Ejel quoted an African proverb: “Your food is supposed to be your medicine and your medicine is supposed to be your food.”
Mr Ejel decried that millions of people on the continent are not living their lives to the fullest. Because the food they’re eating is not providing them with enough nutrients to feed their brain and body.
Speaking on 2019 World Food Day theme: Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World, Ejel urges everyone to start thinking about what we eat.
Live strong with iron
Ejel said: ”Iron, a key nutrient to develop children’s brains and help adults live productive lives, is acutely lacking in people’s diets.
”Iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional burden across the globe. Young children, adolescent girls and pregnant women are the ones who suffer the most.
”It disables their bodies, reduces their capacity to learn and work to earn a good living. And in its most severe forms – anaemia contributes to women dying during childbirth delivery.
Iron deficiency inhibits the sustainable, economic growth of Africa.”
Do you know if iron deficiency is affecting you or your family?
Mr Ejel said: ”Tiredness, fatigue, paleness and being short of breath are all symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia.
”But the reality is, most people in Central and West Africa do not associate these symptoms with the lack of iron. And are therefore not aware of the dire consequences it can have on their lives and their families.
”In Ghana, more than one out of five children below under the age of five years old are iron deficient. In Cote d’oire, iron deficiency anaemia affects 80% of preschool children as well as 50% of schoolchildren and women.
Why act now?
Ejel explained that iron deficiency undercuts the future success of millions of African children and women. He said, yet, it is preventable through solutions that are affordable and accessible to all.
”So it is up to all of us to tackle iron deficiency and anaemia using a collaborative approach.
”This can be as simple as raising awareness about the benefits of a balanced and iron-rich diet to people through engaging campaigns and relevant messaging. ”For example, we aim to make progress in this area by launching an iron deficiency awareness campaign on World Food Day, together with experts, regional personalities and the First Lady and Africa Nutrition Leadership Champion for Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
”By working together, we can also all help to improve people’s health and nutrition. From government to civil society, to farmers and companies, it should be our priority to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone. Doing so will contribute to Africa achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.