Margaret Mataa, who lives in Meru County, struggled with high blood pressure for many years. But after attending agri-nutrition training sessions, Mataa replaced all the flowers in her small farm with nutritious vegetables like amaranth, spinach, kale and pumpkin.
The best part of SESACO’s success is that the company’s diverse range of fortified products – such as soy-peanut-sesame spread, a soy-millet porridge mix, and soy-wheat snacks – are now widely available in Uganda and helping combat undernutrition.
Uganda is not only experiencing undernutrition challenges, but also an increased prevalence of obesity at all stages of the life cycle, especially school-aged children in urban and peri-urban areas. Numerous studies conducted in Uganda have used Body Mass Index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height to assess body fat composition.
In small groups, pregnant women and mothers like Rajopa receive both agricultural training and counseling on a package of essential nutrition and hygiene actions. These easily “doable” actions focus on dietary diversity, women’s nutrition and hygiene to prevent disease transmission and reduce maternal and child undernutrition.
Young taught the mothers how to make healthy snacks such as omelets with carrots, chard and potatoes, soy banana pancakes and fruit salads. She also worked with teachers at the school and parents to create a school snack menu featuring foods rich in crucial nutrients missing from the students’ diets, like vitamin A, calcium, protein and iron.
Aflatoxins are naturally occurring fungal poisons found in crops and livestock products. Not only can they cause serious illness and even death in humans, but contaminated crops harm trade, animal health and human nutrition, including by stunting growth and development in children.