The new addition to the Nestlé family, CERELAC® Millet, was on Wednesday introduced to Ghanaian consumers at a symposium attended by over 1,200 health care professionals, mother support groups, lady professional associations, the media and medical academics in Accra.
The ceremony, held at the National Theatre, was graced by Ghana’s Minister of Health, Sherry Ayittey, who commended Nestlé for the foresight in initiating the process of fortifying its products with essential micro-nutrients, which, she observed, could help in addressing the prevalence of nutrition-related deaths in the country.
The Health Minister noted that although Ghana is on track in achieving some of the parameters of the Millennium Development Goals, nonetheless, it was failing on MDG 4, which requires nations to reduce by two-thirds under-5 mortality rates.
This state of affair, she assesses, was due to the high prevalence of child mortality caused by anemia, a situation which can now be remedied with the introduction of CERELAC® Millet as a complementary food fortified with Iron for infants from 6 months onwards.
Rosanna Agble, former Chief Nutritionist of Ghana’s Health Service, delivered a paper on “Achieving MDG 4: The Role of Iron Fortified Complementary Foods” revealing that anemia is the leading cause of under-five mortality in developing countries like Ghana, for which reason she welcomes the new product to help stem the tide in Ghana.
Country Manager of Nestlé Ghana, Moataz El Hout, reiterated the company’s commitment to nutrition and child development: “Nestlé is committed to being a part of the solution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal Four of reducing child-mortality by helping to reduce micro-nutrient deficiencies. We will do this by fortifying our products with micro-nutrients such as Iron, Iodine and Zinc”.
The Brand Manager for Nestlé Nutrition, Grace Nkrumah, said the new product offers children 98% of the Iron they need at this critical stage of their development.
CERELAC® Millet is being launched 3 years after working on this project, becoming the first complementary food made from millet and fortified with iron by a multi-national company in Central and West Africa, further expanding the Group’s efforts to tackle micro-nutrient deficiencies on the sub-continent. It also contains Bifidus B Lactis, which boosts the natural defenses of infants.