HKI to test efficacy of Golden Rice to prevent vitamin A deficiency
This post was written by Nancy Haselow, Helen Keller International’s Vice President and Regional Director for Asia. It also appeared on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website.
Imagine living in Bangladesh and eating little more than a bowl of rice or two each day. Rice has been part of your diet since you were a child, and you feed it to your children because it’s filling, inexpensive and accessible. Aside from small helpings of vegetables or legumes or the occasional piece of chicken, rice is your primary food source.
Rice has calories, but it has minimal additional nutritional value. A diversified diet that includes nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables (and, preferably, animal source foods such as chicken and eggs) is necessary to prevent sight- and life-threatening deficiencies, including vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of childhood blindness, leaving approximately 350,000 children blind every year. Young children with vitamin A deficiency also have impaired immune systems; a condition which increases the risk of death from certain common childhood infections and claims the lives of 670,000 children each year who live in less developed countries.
An interview with HKI's Vice President and Regional Director for Asia-Pacific
Have you ever met anyone who has visited and worked in over 50 countries and lived in Zaïre, Niger, Cambodia, Vietnam, The Philippines, Cameroon, Senegal and the U.S.? We have, and it’s our Vice President and Regional Director for Asia-Pacific, Nancy J. Haselow. I recently asked Nancy to tell us about her career in public health, and found someone who is not only an inveterate traveler, but also a tireless crusader for improving the lives of as many vulnerable people as possible.
Tags: Cambodia, Cameroon, Gardens, Homestead Food Production, Nancy Haselow, Niger, Onchocerciasis, Philippines, Senegal, Surveillance, Vietnam, Vitamin A
Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Helen Keller, Preventing Blindness, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles, United States