"...Since the summary of activities on CRONOS appeared in the SCN News [No. 19] I have received now two inquiries [regarding large research projects] from Africa....this shows how effective notes in the SCN News can be to encourage networking....
Noel Solomons, MD, CeSSIAM
"....I have recently coordinated the formulation of a National Nutrition Policy which has been approved by the Government. I am now in the process of establishing a National Nutrition Agency to be located at the Office of the Vice President. I am very excited about it all because finally, nutrition in the Gambia is being seen as an issue of development, rather than just health or agriculture. With regards to the Baby-Friendly Community Initiative, countries from the African sub-region will be visiting the Gambia to learn about it to be replicated in their countries. This was a result of a visit to the communities by the UNICEF Regional Nutrition Advisor who thereafter became an advocate for the BFCI....sustainability of the project is now confirmed with communities still committed even after almost five years of implementation. Our Vice President designated all the 12 communities as Baby-Friendly during World Breastfeeding Week in 1999. The ceremony was attended by the Ministers of Finance, Education, and senior officials from government and NGOs, and included representatives of FAO, UNICEF, WHO, and village chiefs, etc. A large billboard at the entrance of each of the village will now tell you that "You are now entering a Baby-Friendly Community" together with the village name and the BFCI logo which is a picture of a mother, father and baby. We have now started expanding as [more] communities request the project. The community members already trained wish to be used as voluntary resource persons....You are welcome to visit the Gambia and these communities any time....
Isatou Jallow Semega-Janneh
[Ed. Note: Isatou delivered the 2nd Dr Abraham Horwitz Lecture, "Breastfeeding: from Biology to Policy" at the SCN annual session in 1998 in Oslo.]
Adieu Lilian Tendayi Marovatsanga. It was shocking news to me. I could only know her at the time of her death as I am a new reader of the SCN News. We Africans have lost another hero of our time. I sympathize with the family of our pioneering "first" food scientist....We pray that another hero shall be sent to us to fill the vacuum created. Our task ahead is based on Dr Marovatsanga's work towards a world where "access to nutrition and safe food is the right of every individual" as indicated by Prof. Ruth K. Oniang'o from Jomo Kenyetta University (SCN News No. 19, p12).
Okoro AEE, UDI General Hospital
Enugu State, Nigeria
[ Note: Many thanks to all of our readers who took the time and effort to respond to our survey included in the last issue of the SCN News. Your responses gave our Secretariat and donors valuable information. Our direct mailing list is now comprised of almost 6,000 readers; 68% live in developing countries. Below are several comments from our readership survey.]
"I would like you to continue sending us the hard copy of the SCN News because most of the people in the developing world have not been connected to the internet, while others have no access to computers at all. I hope to use the information for my own benefit and that of the communities I intend to serve as soon as I complete my studies..." (Kenya)
"I have recommended SCN News to many colleagues in Africa and elsewhere, especially those who find it difficult to access costly material or the internet. Please keep it coming." (Scotland)
"Impressive and informative publication. It enriches our library and information services in the university." (Bangladesh)
"SCN News is written in a style that even people with English as their second language find it easy to understand. It is not gobbled up with technical jargon but informs effectively on relevant topical issues in nutrition." (South Africa)
"...The SCN News helps me to advise all kinds of people [in my peasant farming community], especially young adolescent females....[Through the SCN News] I learned about breastfeeding...and that skimmed and condensed milk are not recommended for feeding infants under six months....The SCN News points to the vital role the UN plays." (Ghana)
Free/Low Cost Newsletters
Erratum: The last issue of the SCN News (p11) inadvertently gave only part of an "Information Sheet", produced by the Nutrition Society, which lists sources of low cost English language books and other training materials. The full list of sources is available on <www.nutsoc.org.uk/careers.htm>. Also on this website are additional, recently-updated Information Sheets listing free/low cost newsletters (as announced in SCN News No. 16) and postgraduate and short training courses in nutrition. Please send corrections or additions for any of these sheets to email@example.com.