By Olimatou Coker
The National Alliance for Food Fortification (NAFF) recently held its eleventh meeting facilitated by the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) and supported by the World Food Programme (WFP), at the Senegambia Beach Hotel.
NAFF is established as a Public-Private Partnership coordinating activities related to food fortification. It is the first national food consumption survey conducted providing up-to-date data on per capita consumption of the target fortified foods and biofortified crops.
Dr Amat Bah, executive director of NaNA said achievements realised during the project should not disappear with it.
Dr Bah described food fortification as part of the answers to micronutrient deficiency in the country, adding that as an institution responsible for eradicating malnutrition in the country, they will ensure the NAFF does not die with the food fortification project.
He explained that in 1999, they conducted a national survey to look at iodine deficiency disorder and discovered that it was a public health problem in The Gambia because only 9 percent of households were consuming iodised salt.
“We got to work with partners and in 2020, 77 percent of households are now consuming iodised salt in the country,” he stated
Sanjally Trawally, director of health promotion and education at the ministry of health described food fortification as an important component in the fight against malnutrition in the country.
He thanked NaNA and UN bodies for the partnership and commitment.
Lamin Drammeh, food technologist at World Food Programme thanked FAO for their foresight in establishing the NAFF. Mr Drammeh pointed out that food fortification is one of the strategies that can be used to address micronutrient deficiency.
Alagie Sillah of UNIGLOBAL and chairperson of the NAFF, said a lot of work has been done towards food fortification but the there still more to be done.