High levels of obesity combined with high levels of malnutrition evident among children in Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya – July, 28th, 2011: Following the launch of Pfizer Distributive hub in Kenya to serve the East African region, Pfizer Nutrition has announced the launch of its advanced product portfolio in Nairobi, Kenya. The launch is in line with Pfizer’s global mission to improve health and well-being at every stage in life, bringing breadth and depth of consumer and scientific insight to new populations and markets around the world.
“We are very excited about our entry into the Kenyan market, and we thank all our local partners for their support and faith in Pfizer Nutrition. Kenya is very different to any other market. Here, we see two extremes in the child nutrition spectrum; we have high levels of obesity combined with high levels of malnutrition. It is part of our social responsibility to try and help minimize these gaps and meet the needs of the community,” said Dr. Mohamed Abdel Khalek, Medical Director, Pfizer Nutrition, Africa & Middle East. “For almost 100 years, Pfizer Nutrition has leveraged clinical rigor, scientific research, world class manufacturing and product safety standards to drive innovative solutions that meet the specific needs of the child nutrition field in every market.”
In a recent study published by Constance A Gewa, Department of Global & Community Health, College of Health & Human Services, George Mason University, USA, out of 1,495 children between the ages of three and five years in Kenya, 30% were stunted, 16% were underweight and 22% were overweight or obese1. The analysis demonstrates the presence of under and over-nutrition among Kenyan pre-school children and the importance of focusing on expanding efforts to prevent and treat malnutrition within this population.
Dr. Fred Were, Pediatrician & Specialist in Neonatal Medicine & National Chairman, Kenya Pediatric Association, commented: “We all know that as a country becomes more industrialized and westernized the level of obesity or over-nutrition increases while the level of malnutrition decreases. In Kenya, this trend is very different, obesity is becoming very visible in urbanized areas such as Nairobi, but malnutrition is not decreasing in the rural communities or even in the low income areas of Nairobi. We have to address these two extremes immediately.”
In a direct effort to support the growing concerns of the Kenyan child nutrition market, Pfizer Nutrition has made available its new advanced Gold line of child formulations in Kenya. The new GOLD range has been specially developed to meet the changing feeding needs of young children.
Pfizer Nutrition’s GOLD range is a comprehensive series of nutritious infant formulas, follow-on formulas and growing-up milks designed to reflect the latest recommendations from leading nutritional experts and contains the Biofactors System which are the nutritional components that deliver functional benefits and play a positive and or integrative role that help support the child’s health, growth and development.
Breast milk is best for healthy growth and development, but when that option is not possible, Pfizer Nutrition is committed to developing infant formula that helps formula-fed babies grow and develop to their full potential.“Now that we are here in Kenya, one of our main priorities is aimed at developing local public health partnerships to strengthen connections within the pediatric nutrition community and increase information sharing and develop a supportive network to accurately deal with the local challenges Kenya is facing in the child nutrition field,” concluded Dr. Abdel Khalek.