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Ruth Oniang’o

Ruth Oniang'o 130x180I am from Kenya. The wounds of my country and of other African countries will heal only when the fundamental issues of inequity and social exclusion are addressed. Africans must themselves put in place mechanisms that will address problems at the core of society, of injustice and all manner of discrimination, along gender, religious, age, social class, and ethnic lines. We must serious about protecting our children and women who die needlessly from preventable conditions that arise out of neglect and misuse of resources. Children die from malnutrition related conditions and women die during child birth due to anaemia and poor care.

All my professional life has been spent working on Africa’s food security issues, with a special commitment to maternal and child health. I have participated in many international conferences and other meetings as a participant, consultant and resource person and facilitator, often representing my country or Africa as a whole.

I worked in the past with the UN system including with UNICEF, FAO; with foundations and the food industry; and with the centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Always I am trying to engage them to do right by nutrition. I also work with farming communities, men as well as women, trying to exchange ideas on how best good nutrition can be achieved at both family and child levels. Recently I have been very much involved with trying to see whether farmers can improve their productivity through increased use of good inputs and with biofortification, working with HarvestPlus, to enhance the nutrient content of commonly eaten foods.

 

I am an editor, organiser and advocate. People tell me I am good at advocacy and lobbying, and these skills were enhanced through participation in the Kenyan Parliament.