Commentary: Food Fortification: African Countries Can Make More Progress

Andrew Method* and Theodore H. Tulchinsky

Commentary: Food Fortification: African Countries Can Make More Progress

This paper is written from the perspective of an African doctor with experience
working in clinical and public health care and from that of a long experienced
public health professional.

The following commentary is, thus, addressed to policy makers and international donors
interested in advancing the health of the African population.

In Africa, malnutrition affects all age groups, but young children,
women of reproductive age and the elderly tend to be among
those most at risk of developing micronutrient deficiencies.

For decades, considerable effort has been made to curb this “silent hunger”.
In recent years, a number of African countries have initiated food fortification programs,
which have proven to be cost effective in addressing the issue of food security.

For example, in 2002, Nigeria successfully instituted a mandatory
salt iodisation program, and it also began to fortify maize and cooking oil with vitamin A, and
sugar and flour with iron.

This established it as one of the first countries in Africa to embrace food fortification.
A situational analysis two decades later showed that regulatory monitoring is
requisite to ensure that fortification reaches it maximum potential.

Adv Food Technol Nutr Sci Open J. 2015; SE(1): S22-S28. doi: 10.17140/AFTNSOJ-SE-1-104