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Experience of World Vision Ethiopia Micronutrient Program in promoting the production of vitamin A-rich foods.
Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2001; 22(4):366-369.Deficiencies of micronutrients are major health problems in Ethiopia. According to a national survey conducted by the former Ethiopian Nutrition Institute in 1985, the prevalence of Bitot's spots exceeded 1%, and low serum vitamin A levels were found in 16% of preschool children. In a 1997 baseline study by World Vision Ethiopia, the prevalence of Bitot's spots was 6.4% and 7.5% in preschool-children and schoolchildren, respectively. In October 1998, World Vision Ethiopia launched a comprehensive Micronutrient Program with the goal of improving the micronutrient and health status of mothers and children. Promoting the production of vitamin A-rich foods was adopted as one of the strategies to reduce vitamin A deficiency in the target population. Intensive nutritional education was given in the project areas, focusing on community leaders, women's groups, teachers, and students. Vegetable seeds and hand tools were made available for demonstration purposes, and production of vitamin A-rich foods (dark-green leafy vegetables, carrot, beet root, cabbage, and kale) was started in community demonstration plots and schools. Community members began replicating vegetable gardens at the household level. In areas where the climate is suitable, production of vitamin A-rich fruits, such as mango, papaya, and avocado, was also demonstrated to the communities. Seedlings grown in community plots were distributed to households. At the end of the second year (1999), 11,708 backyard gardens, 275 school gardens, and 77 community gardens had developed with the full participation of the community. In addition to improved micronutrient status, vegetable production contributed to household food security and income generation of the community. Our experience shows that production of vitamin A-rich vegetables is well accepted by the community. It is sustainable and cost-effective. The challenge ahead is the need to develop local vegetable seed production, since the availability and cost of imported seeds are a hindrance, particularly for very poor community members. A food-based approach, and particularly production of vitamin A-rich vegetables and fruits, should be the mainstay in designing a sustainable micronutrient program in poor developing countries. (author's)
Address before the Second Committee of the General Assembly at its 48th Session on agenda item 96: International Conference on Population and Development.
[Unpublished] 1993. 4 p.This speech by Dr. Maher Mahran, Egyptian Minister for population and family welfare, before the 48th UN general assembly on November 4, 1993, pertained to his remarks on the Annotated Outline for the UN Conference on Population and Development to be held in Cairo in 1994. Brief comments were made about conference preparations and conference facilities progress. The following recommendations were made to strengthen wording on the link between development and population and to use this link as a major thematic area. 1) The analysis of the impact of consumption patterns on economic growth and sustainable development should be expanded to addressed whether degradation of the environment and depletion of resources is due to the consumption patterns of the rich or to greater population numbers. The goal should be to attain reasonable consumption patterns for developed and developing nations. 2) The link between structural adjustment and poverty reduction needs to be included in the draft document; national reports should document the effects of structural adjustment on their economies. 3) The link between rural development and sustained economic growth should be made in the final document. 4) Male responsibilities and participation in population programs must be detailed in a separate chapter, not just in paragraph 17. More research and resource allocation needs to be directed to this area. 5) The active participation of the private sector and local communities should be secured; a definition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) is needed. 6) Chapter IV, subchapter A with Chapter XI should be combined with chapter IV, subchapter B as a separate entity; and chapter IV, subchapter C should be merged with chapter V. Chapters V and VI, chapters VII and VIII, chapters IX and X, and chapters XI and XII should be combined. 7) Greater emphasis needs to be placed on closing the gender gap and on implementing Safe Motherhood education programs, programs increasing women's status, programs linking ethics and population, programs for the elderly, and education in environmental protection and population. Finances, sovereignty, and NGO's freedom to experiment are other important issues. Egypt provides the example of a success story.