I am the Head of Nutrition in the INRSP in Mali. I am also a professor of Nutrition and Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine with the title “Assistant Master of Public Health”. My work consists of conceiving and leading research on nutrition within the institute. I support and advise national structures, NGOs and partner organisations of the Ministry of Health in areas of research and training in nutrition. As a professor at the Faculty of Medecine, I provide supervision and support for students who are preparing theses in the areas of nutrition and public health. Furthermore I am the president of the Malian Nutrition Network, a civil society organisation which was established in 2003.
Teaching is an integral part of my role. During the academic year, for around 10 hours a week, I lecture at the Faculty of Medicine and in three secondary schools. I also prepare scientific articles for publication which stem from the research which my team and I carry out at the Institute.
My specialist area is nutritional epidemiology. I have therefore carried out food and nutrition surveys throughout the region. The nutritional state of children in Mali is characterised by a strong prevalence of nutrition deficiency (emaciation, stunted growth, insufficient weight, deficiencies of iron, vitamin A and iodine) particularly in those aged between 6 and 59 months in rural areas. The nutritional status of women throughout the country who are at the right age to give birth is also characterised by a chronic deficiency of energy. Obesity remains a marginal issue but is starting to become a problem in urban communities.
A study recently undertaken by my department in the peri-urban zone of Bamako, compared the effects of using spiruline to combat child malnutrition in comparison with other classic methods such as enriched flour and proteins derived from catfish. It helped bring the spotlight on the effect that spiruline can have on the rehabilitation of severe acute malnutrition.
My principal source of motivation is my own commitment and determination to champion nutrition as the motor for development in all countries. Placing nutrition at the heart of the development process, particularly in developing countries, is what motivates me. I derive my inspiration from the experience I have gained from the many nutrition surveys which I have carried out throughout the country and the knowledge that my work can really "move things along".