26 Apr 2010

Food summit fortification decision said to reduce risk of communicable diseases

7:20 am on 26 April 2010

UNICEF's Pacific representative says the decision to fortify basic commodities in the Pacific with essential vitamins and minerals means regional rates of communicable diseases will fall.

The food security summit Vanuatu ended with agreement to place more emphasis on breastfeeding and local agriculture initiatives and , ensure basic commodities such as rice are fortified.

Dr Isiye Ndombi says people will have to pay slightly more for better food but the associated health improvements will save them money.

"So the idea is to have that balance of having adequate nutrition but also preventing the conditions that often consume a lot of the calories, such as malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia and some of the other conditions that are related to sanitation and so on."