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by Association of Upper Egypt For Education and Development
Do you have an innovative solution to prevent nutritional deficiencies and its economic burden?
A call for nutritional experts to introduce low-cost, nutritious, and affordable solutions, away from medicinal alternatives, that are favored by everyone. Please read on for more details!
Malnutrition is one of the greatest global challenges, with more than half of the world's population suffering from it. The Middle East comes in second place, with malnutrition accounting for 50% of child deaths in the Near East and North Africa, as well as resulting in high rates of stunting in children and diseases of thinness and gantry. Moreover, about 45% of women in the region suffer from anemia caused by malnutrition .
Egypt, like other countries in the region, faces the same challenge, with 23% of children suffering from acute malnutrition, 18% of whom suffer from stunting due to lack of calories and protein or eating unbalanced meals in terms of components . Obesity is also caused by malnutrition and Egypt is among the top five countries in the proportion of people with obesity in the world .
The negative effects of malnutrition go beyond indiduals health status resulting in many negative economic consequences, "Every dollar spent on improving the level of food per capita generates a return of $ 10, either directly in increasing the individual's productive capacity or indirectly in the provision of high costs for the treatment of diseases caused by malnutrition" , according to Dr. Haifa Madi, a the World Health Organization expert.
The challenge is to create an innovative and effective idea to overcome malnutrition side effects faced away from medical solutions. It should be easy to implement, economical, healthy, and favored by all groups and ages.
The expected solution should be in the form of a ready-to-eat and wrapped food that meets the following conditions:
• Include nutrients, which deficiencies cause malnutrition diseases, for example:
- Vitamin C
• The ingredients include crops, cereals and other components that are local and preferably available throughout the year;
• The ingredients are homogeneous, delicious and found to be tasty by all;
• The final product must be attractive to encourage children to eat it;
• The final product must be a ready to consume, i.e. there is no need to cook or prepare;
• The final product can be stored at room temperature for extended periods (up to 6 months);
• The final product doesn't more than 5 EGP.
A reward of 6000 Egyptian Pounds will be offered for the winning solution, provided by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, in addition to publishing the best recipes in a booklet and distributing it to associations and entities concerned with human health in various governorates. The reward is provided based on the following conditions:
This challenge has been raised by the Upper Egypt Association for Education and Development which operates in various villages in Tahta, Sohag governorate. Various groups, such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants and youngsters from villages suffer from malnutrition and anemia which affects the growth of children and leads to poor scholary achievements, while it makes adults sometimes unable to exercise or tolerate normal effort. This mainly results from poor health habits caused by the absence of any source of knowledge or awareness within the villages given their very remote locations and limited number of educated people.
The problem is not only limited to Sohag but is also present on a similar scale in other governorates especially in Upper Egypt such as Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya and Assiut due to the high poverty rates and the lack of knowledge to consume well-balanced meals .
On the other hand, nutritionists in Egypt have come up with low-cost food alternatives, for example, some alternatives to protein such as meat and poultry through red potatoes, fresh juices and others. Despite all the efforts exerted, the challenge still remains, how to transform such diverse elements into integrated meals and spread it amoung different target groups.
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