Thursday, February 25, 2021

Children Call on Government to Invest in Nutrition

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By Ndey Sowe

Fatoumata Cessay, a student from Muhammadan Lower Basic School has on Monday, 27th January 2020 call on the government of the Gambia to invest more in nutrition for the development of Gambian children.

She made this statement during the launching of the Gambia Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) Study Report, held at a local hotel in Kololi.

The COHA study reveals and explains the social and economic impacts of child malnutrition in the Gambia through the examination of three prime sectors-health, education, and productivity.

The COHA study is an Africa Union led initiative that has been spearheaded by the government of Gambia, through National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), ministry of finance, health, Basic and Secondary Education, and the national implementation team members UNICEF, FAO, and WFP.

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The Gambia COHA report estimates the association cost of under nutrition to the economy through health, education, and labour productivity in a single year.

“I call on the government to invest more in nutrition, for my development and those of other children still suffering under nutrition”, she said, she added the most important factor that influences education is brain knowing and the ‘fuel to the brain is good food’.

Fatoumatta Cessay said children who don’t stay in schools have poor educational performance and are more likely to dropout and repeat.

Amienata Tuti Drammeh a student from Muhammadan Lower Basic School said the fuel to the brain is good food for a healthy brain for those that are trying to avoid their memory lost.

“We need essential nutrients for our brain development”, she said, “knowing our human brains have so much potential, good food for a memory boost to reduce sickness, deaths, dropouts, and repetition.”

Meanwhile she said cassava, rice, potatoes and bread are good foods which she said gives energy, and the once that make us strive in the classroom makes us strive.

She remarked: “an empty rice bag cannot stand and a hungry child cannot concentrate either can he/she participate”.

Sunkaru Jallow said the introduction of the school feeding programme has helped her to be the best student in her class.

class and today I can proudly sing.

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