Analysis of the parents’ and school authorities’ reactions towards the use of biofortified foods in school feeding programs. The case of Iodine Deficiency in Uganda

Joshua Wesana
Slimmer met jodium. Een onderzoek naar de haalbaarheid van jodium verrijkte groenten in Oegandese scholenElk kind heeft recht op een gezond, evenwichtig dieet. En natuurlijk zullen ouders er alles aan doen om hiervoor te zorgen. Maar dit is niet overal ter wereld even gemakkelijk.Beeld je in: een landbouwer met kinderen die in een arme regio in Afrika woont. Deze kinderen zijn afhankelijk van wat hun vader teelt en oogst.

Analysis of the parents’ and school authorities’ reactions towards the use of biofortified foods in school feeding programs. The case of Iodine Deficiency in Uganda

Slimmer met jodium.

Een onderzoek naar de haalbaarheid van jodium verrijkte groenten in Oegandese scholen

Elk kind heeft recht op een gezond, evenwichtig dieet. En natuurlijk zullen ouders er alles aan doen om hiervoor te zorgen. Maar dit is niet overal ter wereld even gemakkelijk.

Beeld je in: een landbouwer met kinderen die in een arme regio in Afrika woont. Deze kinderen zijn afhankelijk van wat hun vader teelt en oogst. Maar de vader weet veelal niet dat de grond waarop hij zijn gewassen teelt, vaak onvoldoende jodium bevatten, een cruciaal vitamine voor onze gezondheid.

Hij moet op zoek naar alternatieve bronnen van jodium, zodat de mentale ontwikkeling van zijn kinderen er niet verder op achteruit gaat. Eén optie is het zogenaamde jodium verrijkte zout. In theorie is dit succesvol, maar in praktijk vaak veel minder. Zo maakt het toevoegen van jodium het zout duurder, moeten kinderen dagelijks dit zout tijdens hun maaltijd nemen, en is het zout gewoonweg niet altijd beschikbaar is in ontwikkelingslanden. Vooral in bergachtige gebieden, waar verrijkte zout of ander jodiumrijke producten zoals vis, moeilijk tot bij de kinderen geraken, zijn de problemen het grootst.

Beeld je in dat je één van de 58 miljoen Afrikaanse schoolkinderen bent die te weinig jodium inneemt. Doordat je enkel voedsel voorgeschoteld krijgen dat quasi geen jodium bevat, zullen je hersenen slechter ontwikkelen waardoor je schoolresultaten zullen kelderen. En dit is exact wat er momenteel in grote delen van Afrika gebeurt. Dit valt allemaal onder de noemer van de ‘verborgen honger’: kinderen die genoeg eten, maar het eten heeft een lange kwaliteit (mineralen en vitaminen).

In de wereldwijde strijd tegen deze verborgen honger is er recent heel wat aandacht voor bio-fortificatie. Dit is het verhogen van de voedingswaarde van basisvoedsel door middel van het kruisen van gewassen, vandaar bio (natuurlijk)-fortificatie (verrijken). Bijvoorbeeld twee rijstsoorten met een hoog vitamine A-gehalte gaan kruisen om tot een rijstsoort te komen met een nog hoger vitamine A-gehalte. Hoewel dit ook weer in theorie als een succesvolle strategie kan beschouwd worden, moet dit ook in de praktijk onderzocht worden. Anders heeft het weinig zin dat onderzoeksinstellingen hier verder in investeren.

Deze studie onderzoekt dan ook of de consument dergelijke nieuwe gewassen zou aanvaarden. Meer in het bijzonder wordt er gekeken naar de motivaties die ervoor zorgen dat ouders en scholen in Oeganda al dan niet bereid zijn dergelijk jodium verrijkt voedsel op het bord van de kinderen te plaatsen. De keuze om ook scholen te bevragen ligt voor de hand. Voedselprogramma’s op school zijn een uitgelezen manier om kinderen in arme gebieden te bereiken, zeker gezien de link tussen jodium en schoolresultaten.

Op basis van een achterliggende theoretische benadering wordt veronderstelt dat iemand die een bedreiging van jodiumtekort ervaart, meer kans heeft om jodium verrijkt voedsel als een oplossing zal zien om de gevolgen van dat tekort te vermijden.

De resultaten tonen algemene positieve reacties van stakeholders (ouders en scholen) die beide een duidelijke wens uitdrukken om dergelijke gewassen op thuis en op school te introduceren. Een belangrijk succesfactor is het geloof van de ouders in het succes van deze interventie. De scholen zijn echter vooral terughoudend wanneer het over de kosten van het uitvoeren van de voedselprogramma’s met jodium verrijkte voeding. Dit, en ook de lage kennis van jodium en de gevolgen van een jodiumtekort, onderstrepen de nood aan informatie- en sensibiliseringscampagnes

Nu we weten hoe deze specifieke stakeholders reageren op jodium verrijkte gewassen is het aangewezen om deze strategie verder te gaan uitbouwen. De bal ligt in ons kamp om de huidige leerproblemen in ontwikkelingslanden verder aan te pakken op een manier die werkt en algemeen aanvaard wordt.

This research study was supported by VLIR-UOS via the HEFS Platform Harvest Call (ZIUS2013VOA0902)

 

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Universiteit of Hogeschool
Master of Science in Nutrition and Rural Development. Main subject: Human Nutrition
Publicatiejaar
2015
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