Nestlé has introduced a new MAGGI Cube fortified with Iron in Rwanda. Statistics from the country’s 2005 and 2010 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) signal that aneamia in children between 6 and 59 months is at 38% and at 20% amongst pregnant women.
Speaking during the launch, Ms. Ciru Miring’u, Head of East Africa Cluster for Nestlé, explained that Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the continent and anaemia – the state of having too little haemoglobin in the blood – is mostly caused by a lack of iron in the diet.
“Iron is a mineral that plays a crucial role in our bodies, but the consequences of long-term iron deficiency can include impaired mental development in children, decreased physical work capacity and impaired immune function,” Ms. Miring’u said.
While Rwanda remains on the track for halving the 1990 poverty rate by the end of 2015 in accordance with the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, even more can be done to as we move forward to further reduce poverty and hunger amongst the population.
Food fortification is the practice of adding essential micronutrients such as iron to foods in order to improve their nutritional content and help to alleviate malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency.
Food fortification has been carried out safely around the world since the 1920’s and is proven to be a very cost effective way to reduce rates of deficiency. The benefits of a healthy nation are evident in the economy, with the Copenhagen Consensus (expert economists) estimating that for every US$1 spent on fortification, there is a resulting US$9 benefit to the economy.
The immediate causes of Iron deficiency include a lack of a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet due to lack of information, food availability and affordability. Nestlé is committed to improving people’s quality of life at every stage and has collaborated with scientists on a global and regional level to fortify appropriate food products according to local needs.
“We have added iron to our popular MAGGI cube which was already enriched with iodine (for cognitive development) to deliver a healthier cube at the same great taste for the Rwandese consumers,” Ms. Miring’u continued.
Consumers across Rwanda will now be able to increase their iron intake at a low cost with the new range of fortified MAGGI cubes produced by Nestlé and according to Ms. Miring’u one new MAGGI Cube has an equal portion of iron as 100grams of cooked red lean meat.
“The new MAGGI Cube fortified with iron has the same great taste of MAGGI Cubes which are widely enjoyed by our consumers around the world. It will be available immediately at a shop near you.” she said.