Africa boasts of many things: seas, rivers, solid minerals, human power, climate, culture, tradition, tourism and so on. Many times, and quite true indeed, the media has presented the other side of Africa to the rest of us. So it is not strange to see words like poverty, corruption, hunger, disease, deaths, and more deaths from tribalism, etc, lingering on pages describing Africa to the rest of the world. At one time or the other, the Western world, not empty of organizations and philanthropists, have come to the rescue of the African clouded with these challenges.
One of such deadly challenges (or call them problems) is Africa’s Health! No wonder top journals publish a lot of articles on addressing health challenges some of which are not limited to; childhood obesity, dietary intake, eating disorder, fatigue disorder, food intolerance, iodine deficiency disorder, malnutrition, nutrient deficiencies, nutrition cancer, nutritional epidemiology, obesity prevention, public health nutrition and vitamin B12 deficiency.
It is the case that “while acknowledging that Africa confronts the world’s most dramatic public health crisis, the report [given by WHO in her bulletin, https://www.who.int/bulletin/africanhealth/en/] offers hope that over time the region can address the health challenges it faces, given sufficient international support. One such hope in person, is Folakemi Jolaoso, and her amazing team at Impact Nutrition Africa.
Refreshingly, on Sunday 2nd of June, 2019, the Ray of Thought Team, represented by one of her authors, David Francis, in Abuja, had an interview with Folakemi Jolaoso. Folakemi is a passionate nutritionist and founder of Impact Nutrition Africa.
Her devoted commitment to Nutrition and Public Health has seen notable achievements. She led a team, under the HELP Fellowship to produce a baby cereal that is affordable and nutritious for low to middle-income earners.
She has won several notable awards, few of which are: De-United Indomie Scholarship Award; 2017 UTC Annual Prize; Best Graduating Student from the Department of Human Nutrition and Faculty of Public Health, the University of Ibadan.
Folakemi isn’t resting on her oars. She keeps updating her knowledge by taking online courses in Nutrition and Public Health especially from Stanford University and John Hopkins University.
Folakemi is also a fiction writer who believes stories can shape the individual, and thus, the society. She blogs at www.folakemijay.blog. Folakemi Jolaoso was a guest for this interview with the Ray of Thought. Below is an excerpt of this interview:
ROT: Tell us about yourself
My name is Folakemi Jolaoso. I’m the Founder of Impact Nutrition Africa (INA). I studied Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the Faculty of Public Health from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. I nurture the dream of working with and for International organizations interested in addressing Public Health Nutrition/Malnutrition, Human Nutrition Lab Analysis, and Dietetics.
ROT: Why Impact Nutrition?
The public, overtime, have not been able to access adequate nutrition education in order to make informed choices for healthy living. Even more worrisome is that she to the large societal interest to eat healthily, many have been gravely misinformed. Then I realised that at the University of Ibadan and beyond, there are qualified nutritionists who can do better and work better as a team. The masses need the right education from the right set of people who are passionate about public health and nutrition. So we got a team together to enable the public rely on Impact Nutrition Africa (INA).
Asides nutrition education, which is our first tool, we also plan interventions and provide consultation (second and third tools respectively) in order to achieve our solve aim: Providing Innovative Solutions to Public Health Nutrition Challenges in Africa.
The following core team members make up Impact Nutrition Africa (you can check them in our website, www.impactnutritionafrica.org):
The team is made up of 1 dietician, 6 nutritionist, 1 nurse, 1 medical doctor, 1 psychologist, and 1 lawyer. Their names are:
- Chima Onumajuru Adaeze
- Adewusi Adejoke
- Omilana Timileyin
- Folakemi Jolaoso
- Agi Oka Grace
- Gafari Olatundun
- Enwelum Nkeiruka
- Fadodun Damilola
- Ebi Benjamin
- Awotunde Oluwatolami
- Ogunmodede Joseph
ROT: Tell us about the goals and growth of Impact Nutrition in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Impact Nutrition Africa is about educating the masses, providing consultation on a macro and micro scale as well as interventions in public health challenges. Impact Nutrition Africa in Nigeria is about 8 months old, however, we have built and are building a formidable platform where we hope to provide innovations in eradicating public health challenges. Last year December, INA had a nutrition education for lactating mothers in Olosun village and its neighbouring hamlets. We were also able to provide nutrition sensitive intervention (deworming) for children between 3 to 12 years. We work tirelessly on our social media platforms, continuously educating people on healthy food choices.
Instagram handle is @impactnutrition_africa Twitter handle is @impactnutafrica Facebook handle is Impact Nutrition We also have some activities and interventions for the rest of the calender year.
In a few years from now, the team hopes to be the hub for innovative solutions to public health nutrition challenges in Africa.
ROT: Thank you so much for granting us this interview, we appreciate the time you have given to it.
Thanks a lot for having me. It has been a pleasure. I’m grateful to the team (ROT) and for the
Visit Impact Nutrition Africa today