A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Monday, July 31, 2006
Posted 2:03 PM by Luigi
Nutrition counseling in Pohnpei
From Dr Lois Englberger: We would like to share with you the article printed in the July 19-August 1, 2006 Kaselehlie Press (local newspaper) related to our project with the Community of Mand. Thank you all in Mand for your good teamwork and thank you Amy for writing the article! Lois
Counseling Conducted in Mand on Nutrition and Health
By Amy Levendusky
From May 9th through July 13th, Pelihna Moses from Mand and Amy Levendusky of the Island Food Community of Pohnpei (IFCP) spent 6 days in Mand visiting a total of 39 families. Mand families received counseling on vitamin A deficiency, diabetes, and dental hygiene. Counseling was initiated in Mand based on findings from the project entitled, “Pohnpeian Traditional Food for Health”, sponsored by the IFCP. During April through July 2005, vitamin A status in mothers and their children, fasting blood sugar in adults and dental hygiene in children were evaluated.
Around thirty-one percent of the 57 children (age 2-10 years) tested in Mand were vitamin A deficient. This is over twice the cut-off for a problem of public health significance, which is 15%, showing how serious the problem here is. Lack of vitamin A in the body can cause night blindness, partial or total blindness, it can make respiratory diseases like pneumonia worse, and it can increase the risk of infections especially among children. The mothers of those children found to be Vitamin A deficient, were advised that yellow-fleshed local foods such as the Karat and Daiwang bananas, giant swamp taro, pandanus, ripe mango, ripe papaya, pumpkin, sweet potato, and dark leafy greens such as pele, kangkong, and chaya are high in pro-vitamin A carotenoids (the substance which turns into Vitamin A in the body) and should be eaten everyday. Rice and bread have no Vitamin A or provitamin A carotenoids and should be eaten with Vitamin A rich food. Also fish liver is an excellent source of vitamin A.
Out of 84 males and 85 females tested for their fasting blood sugar, a total of 41 new cases of possible diabetes were identified. Those people who were found to have high fasting blood sugar levels were advised to eat three balanced meals a day at regular times. They were also encouraged to choose foods low in fat and sugar and high in fiber. Alcohol should also be limited. Along with eating healthy, it is important to exercise at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time.
At the time of the dental screening, it was found that out of 85 children between the ages of 1 to 14, only 3 had healthy teeth. Most children had several cavities, up to 16 cavities per child. The mothers of those children were advised that it is very important to take care of the baby teeth because if they become damaged, it can affect the health of their children’s permanent teeth. They were also encouraged to take their children to the Pohnpei Dental Division to have the damaged teeth treated.
IFCP thanks the Mand community and our collaborating partners and support agencies, including the Pohnpei Office of Economic Affairs, Departments of Health and Education, Department of Land and Natural Resources, COM/FSM Land Grant, Natural Resource Conservation Service, CINE, CDC, Sight and Life, New Zealand, German and Australian Embassies, the Global Environmental Fund, and Pacific German Regional Forestry Project (PGRFP).
Lois Englberger, PhD
Island Food Community of Pohnpei
P. O. Box 2299
Kolonia, Pohnpei 96941 FM
Tel: 691-320-8639 Fax: 691-320-4647
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.