|Dr. Salimata Wade, a TC expert from Senegal and Head of the Nutrition Laboratory, Faculty of Science and Technology University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, has been awarded the African Union Regional Scientific Award for Women Scientists for the West Africa region for her work on malnutrition issues, micronutrient deficiencies and the use of stable isotopes in nutrition.
This prestigious award promotes the participation of African women in science, technology and innovation. It is issued by the African Union Commission in an effort to ensure that African women in science achieve their full potential, breaking down barriers and increasing opportunities.
|The award acknowledges women’s contribution to progress in science, raising the profile of women researchers and inspiring young women and girls to consider a career in the sciences.
Micronutrient deficiencies are a public health problem in Senegal and have significant physiological and economic consequences in terms of maternal, child and infant mortality. The Senegalese Government is working with the IAEA and experts such as Dr. Wade to develop a national strategy for the fortification of foods for general consumption with micronutrients. Interventions such as these, in addition to ongoing activities such as nutrient supplementation, dietary diversification and the promotion of breast-feeding and salt iodization, improve health and, when successful, will counteract the serious consequences of malnutrition.
During two IAEA TC projects, Dr. Wade has provided expertise to Senegal to help study the effect of a food fortification programme on the micronutrient status among women and children and to carry out an efficacy study on the impact of the national fortification programme for iron and folic acid in women using stable isotopes. Her work has led to the measurement of energy expenditure in the Senegalese population, body composition and milk production in women.
Dr. Wade has also focused on the development of training of quality human resources to cope with Africa’s malnutrition challenges. With her expertise, a doctoral programme in nutrition and diet, the first of its kind in francophone Africa, has been established and is supporting nearly 30 master’s degrees and a dozen theses.
Dr. Wade’s laboratory has enjoyed several years of support by the IAEA and is the counterpart for projects focused on improving micronutrient status through food fortification, the evaluation of a food fortification programme to improve the micronutrient status of Senegalese women, and a sub-regional project using isotope techniques to assess nutrition intervention programmes related to HIV/AIDS in Africa.
The awards ceremony will be held on African Union Day, September 9, in Malawi.