- About Us
- Our Approach
- Where We Work
Photo Credit: Nick Giulani
Nutrition is an underlying health issue for many populations. In many African countries, malnourishment among the elderly, and children under age 5 can be a strong predictor for poor health status and for increased risk of health conditions such as pneumonia. Among pregnant women, poor nutrition can lead to health challenges for both mother and baby.
Until recently, nutrition data on the African-born community was nonexistent. Today, thanks to data obtained by Minnesota’s Hennepin County, we know that African-born blacks are eating fruits and vegetables at far lower rates than those established by the US government’s Healthy People 2010 goals. Among African-born blacks residing in Hennepin County, only 55% are eating 2 or more servings of fruit a day (compared with 58% among all adults in the county), and 14% are consuming 3 or more servings of vegetables a day (compared with 29% among all adults), according to the county’s Survey on the Health of All the Population and the Environment (SHAPE).
WellShare is working both domestically and internationally to improve the nutritional status of the community members they serve. In Sub-Saharan Africa, we are integrating nutrition education in many of our health programs, including those for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and pneumonia (Check out our recipe for Kitobeero, which uses locally-available foods that can been cooked in a single pot for malnourished children and adults.)
In Minnesota, our cardiovascular and diabetes education programs in the Somali community educate adults and youth about the importance of having balanced nutrition to stay healthy. Most recently, WellShare has worked with our Somali partners to create a community-based exercise class, conduct an assessment of available fruits and vegetables, and provide community-based education about healthy eating.