Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies particularly remain prevalent in the Gambia. A survey by the National Demographic Household Survey in 2013 estimated that 24% of children under five years were stunted, 11.5% were wasted, and 72% had anemia. The same report revealed that 16% of women of reproductive age were thin and 60% were also anemic. In an attempt to improve food security and nutrition, the Gambian government embarked on the creation of a comprehensive regulatory framework to make oil and wheat flour fortification mandatory. This meant the Food Safety and Quality Authority (FQSA) has to ensure that industries and importers are compliant with the regulations. To do this they would require methods to check for the levels of micronutrients in the staple foods on the market. A number of methodologies are available at different price and complexity ranges. iCheck test kits for micronutrients are one of the most cost-effective and easily implementable solutions.
BioAnalyt’s Technical Director, Holly McKee, was in Banjul for a hands-on training organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with BioAnalyt and the FQSA from 7 – 11 May 2018. The five-day training saw a total of 27 food inspectors and laboratory technicians all across the Gambia through the usage and maintenance of the iCheck devices namely Fluoro, Iron, Carotene and Chroma 3. The training effectively demonstrated that the participants and users of the iCheck test kits can perform accurate analysis of vitamin A in oil, vitamin A in flour, iron in flour and total carotenoids in crops. Many of the participants requested for frequent refresher and step-down training sessions. Trainings are thus vital to the smooth usage of iCheck devices or any other methodologies in food fortification programs.
BioAnalyt is dedicated to providing unlimited continuous technical support through demos and trainings in-person or via video conference (e.g. Skype). You can also reach us on our WhatsApp number (+491625837730) for instant support to all your questions. We are also available to support users over the phone or through e-mails with analyses, calculations of micronutrients levels, understanding standards, interpreting results, taking actions based on results.