The importance of optimal nutrition for health and human development is well recognised. At the time of Independence the country faced two major nutritional problems. One was the threat of famine and the resultant acute starvation due to low agricultural production and the lack of an appropriate food distribution system. The other was chronic energy deficiency due to:
- low dietary intake because of poverty and low purchasing power;
- high prevalence of infection because of poor access to safe-drinking water, sanitation and health care;
- poor utilisation of available facilities due to low literacy and lack of awareness.