'Fighting Malnutrition & Hunger Should Be The First Priority'- IIMSAM Official Dr. Naseer Homoud

Top Quote IIMSAM Goodwill Ambassador and Director of its Middle East Office Dr. Naseer Homoud consider hunger and malnutrition as serious threats in achieving United Nations Millennium Development Goals. He urged support for IIMSAM for fighting against malnutrition. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) January 05, 2011 - Expressing his concern on growing rates of malnutrition Dr. Naseer Homoud Goodwill Ambassador and Director of Middle East office for the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina against Malnutrition (IIMSAM), the Permanent Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council warned today that the acute problem of malnutrition prevailing in world particularly in Africa region will surely be aggravated by the skyrocketing prices and tight supply of rice and other cereals in the market. "The high prices of eatables and cereals in the market today are surely forcing many households to reduce consumption. But the first to suffer from this move would be our children and the elderly," said Dr. Homoud.

    The press statement issued from IIMSAM Middle East Office termed malnutrition as the cause of more than half of all child deaths worldwide. Malnourished children have lowered resistance to infection; they are more likely to die from common childhood ailments such as diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections. Although the share of children who are malnourished has gradually been declining over recent years, the actual number of malnourished children is still rising in many underdeveloped and developing countries. For example, in 1995,167 million children under the age of five years, nearly one-third of all children in developing countries were either underweight or stunted. Malnutrition causes a great deal of physical and emotional suffering and it is a violation of a child's human rights. Malnutrition substantially raises the risk of infant and child deaths, and increases vulnerability to a variety of diseases in later life. In addition, malnutrition impairs cognitive ability and decreases school performance, and lowers labor productivity and lifetime earnings. Combating child malnutrition is of great importance to the future economic and social welfare of countries. In order to effectively deal with child malnutrition it is essential that the causes of child malnutrition be understood, as well, it is important to credit current progresses in child malnutrition and the possible initiatives necessary to continue with reducing child malnutrition in developing worlds.

    "What we know about malnutrition is not enough; this menace is emerging like a silent killer to our civilization and the problem persists with implantation of through policies for combatting this hazard" said Dr. Homoud. He further went on to say "this shows that there is something very wrong. Some billion peoples in the world suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition and such large-scale hunger is not only unprecedented but also should be intolerable in our world of plenty. In a world in which enough food exists to feed every man, woman and child, we need to do far better with sincere and honest efforts be it politically, economically, scientifically or logistically. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, so why in the 21st century we have over a billion people going to bed hungry every night? People have a fundamental right to be free from hunger. It is up to all of us to make decisions at a political, economic, spiritual and personal level to ensure that pressure is brought to bear on governments and decision-makers to tackle this issue effectively."

    The Goodwill Ambassador highlighted Malnutrition as a medical and humanitarian emergency that contributes to the deaths of between 3.5 and 5 million children younger than five each year. Those most vulnerable to under-nutrition, and who suffer the most devastating and long-term consequences, are young children between the ages of six months to two years old. "Although people usually associate malnutrition with famine and disasters, it is in fact a chronic condition in many places where we work - a silent killer out of the media spotlight. We need to unite for the sake of our future which rests with a world free from hunger and malnutrition", said Dr. Homoud.

    "In places where malnutrition is endemic, such as South Asia, the Sahel, and the Horn of Africa, many families simply cannot afford to provide the nutritious - and more expensive - food young children need for good health. Through our experience and work in areas affected by malnutrition, IIMSAM has demonstrated the effectiveness of Spirulina to both treat children suffering from severe malnutrition and also as an effective means to prevent vulnerable children falling in to severe malnutrition", said Dr. Homoud. He further said that said that persistent malnutrition was contributing not only to failure to meet the first MDG -to halve poverty and hunger, but also to failure in meeting other goals in maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, education and gender equity. He further argued that any national planning agenda which did not take into cognizance the nutrition situation in the country might end up being an effort in futility. "Improving nutrition is therefore as much, or more, of human rights. Reducing under-nutrition and micro-nutrient deficiencies directly reduces poverty in the broad definition that includes human development and human capital formation", said Dr. Homoud.

    Highlighting the importance of Spirulina in fighting undernourishment he outlined firmly that Spirulina has proven medical tendencies which can control malnutrition and that's too on very low costs involved in production. "Spirulina is a blue-green microalga which is very high in protein content besides having very balanced levels of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, pigments, and other nutritional ingredients. It can be easily accessible, affordable and consumable" said Dr. Homoud. Speaking on approach of IIMSAM towards this issue he said "IIMSAM under leadership of its secretary General Ambassador Remigio Maradona believes that promise in the Millennium Development Goal to reduce hunger and poverty by half by the year 2015 can only be redeemed by serious thinking, planning and action.

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