Nestlé Cameroon and the Ministry of Public Health have organized a forum on the theme: “responding to the nutritional challenges in Cameroon.” The forum, under the high patronage of the Minister of Public Health, is a gathering of government experts, civil society, academic societies, academia and the private sector to discuss solutions to nutrition challenges in Cameroon.
Malnutrition continues today to have a huge human and economic cost impact in terms of expenditure on health and loss of productivity. Global data is alarming. More than one in three people suffer from diet-related malnutrition, and if this trend continues, it will be one in two people. In Cameroon, the MICS 2014 survey shows that 32% of the population suffers from chronic malnutrition, of which 13% is severe.
Given the complexity of these problems, a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach is needed. The objective of this forum was therefore to provide a platform for dialogue and dialogue to enable all the actors concerned to propose ways of collective action to solve the challenges of malnutrition.
Since Nestlé was founded more than 150 years ago, Nestlé is inspired by its purpose: “enhancing the quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”.
“Guided by government priorities, we are committed to helping address nutritional challenges. We believe we can positively influence dietary habits by offering healthier products, such as micronutrient-enriched foods and beverages, as well as inspiring individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles, “said Thomas Caso, Country Manager of Nestlé Cameroon. “Given the complexity of nutrition-related problems, the private sector can and should be part of the solution,” he added.
“35% of deaths of children under 5 years could have been prevented in Cameroon simply by adopting a good diet. It is therefore important that stakeholders in the field of nutrition work together on approaches and implement existing strategies, “said HE André Mama Fouda, Minister of Public Health of Cameroon. “We need a healthy human capital that can guarantee sustainable economic growth and in line with our ambitions,” he added.
The forum concluded with the announcement of four commitments made by Nestlé’s Maggi to 2020 to help make a difference by cooking with the brand. Maggi will ensure that 100% of its products will be manufactured with more common and familiar ingredients. Maggi will reduce by 22% the salt content in its bouillons and cubes. Maggi will sensitize a minimum of 70 000 women on the importance of healthy lifestyles. Maggi will create value for society and the community by sourcing locally and enrolling 30,000 farmers in agricultural training programs.
These commitments confirm the role that Maggi intends to play in contributing to solving the nutritional challenges in Cameroon and in helping to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The second and third MDGs are aimed at eliminating hunger, ensuring food security, nutrition and the promotion of sustainable agriculture, as well as encouraging actions that enable everyone to live in good health.