Sierra Leone launches its Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating
On 13 December 2016, Sierra Leone’s Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating were launched at the Miattia Conference Hall in the presence of Vice President, Victor Bokarie Foh and First Lady, Sia Nyama Koroma. Sierra Leone is the 3rd country in West Africa and the 6th country in the world to launch its Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating. The Guidelines are a vital nutritional educational tool aiming to promote health and the well being of the population of Sierra Leone. They present food that are locally available in Sierra Leone and affordable so that everyone in the country can have access to a healthy balanced diet.
During the launch, the Vice President cited 2014 National Nutrition Survey statistics that 28.9% of children under the age of five have stunted growth and 12.9% are underweight in addition to sharing goverment plans to eradicate malnutrition. UN Resident Coordinator, Sunil Saigal, said that the Dietary Guidelines are unique as they provide an outline for a balanced diet and take into account foods that are culturally available, accessible, affordable and sustainable in the country.
These figures, plus other statistics describing the state of food security and nutrition at both local and international levels are deeply concerning, therefore the UN is engaged in a number of initiatives to improve the situation at many different levels. Fighting malnutrition is not just a matter of health or even one of food production but fighting malnutrition is a matter of ending poverty and requires action with regards to education, water and sanitation, gender, social protection and trade”
Sunil Saigal, UN Resident Coordinator Sierra Leone
The event was hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone’s Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Secretariat and other partners,
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— WHO Sierra Leone (@WHOSierraLeone) December 14, 2016