- One among the strategy is to increase per capita consumption to 100 liters per year by 2025. Alongside is to establish and promote milk feeding programs in schools.
The Tanzania Dairy board estimates a per capita milk consumption at about 47 litres per year. This means that one person consumes about 47 litres in a year.
One among the strategy is to increase per capita consumption to 100 liters per year by 2025. Alongside is to establish and promote milk feeding programs in schools.
These are very good plans which will see increase in awareness on milk and dairy product consumption, a good source of calcium. Calcium is highly needed for bone development, particularly among pregnant women, small children and teenagers.
What is lactose intolerance?
The 2025 target will lead to increase in awareness and consumption of milk among the general population.
From medical point of view, we expect a lot of health benefits which are linked to milk consumption but also medical conditions associated to milk consumption will increase. These are not limited to allergy and lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is a medical condition, which is caused by the inability to digest a form of sugar known as lactose, found in milk. This problem is most common among adults.
Lactose is digested by an enzyme known as lactase which is produced in the small intestine. The production of lactase enzyme is reduced as a baby grows and significant reduction continues after the first year of life.
It is estimated that approximately 65 per cent of people have reduced the ability to digest lactose after the first year of life due to reduced production of lactase enzyme. However, for communities which have long depended on milk as a source of food, the prevalence of lactose intolerance is as low as 5 per cent.
Lactose intolerance is a condition which commonly runs in families. It rarely occurs as a congenital disorder where babies are born without lactase enzyme.
Apart from the mechanism described above, lactose intolerance can also occur as secondary problem, for example, post-surgery, diseases of the intestine such as celiac disease.
What are the signs and cure?
Normally a person with lactose intolerance will present with abdominal bloating, pain, diarrhoea and flatulence 30 to 2 hours after ingestion of milk.
It is presumably easy to detect lactose intolerance among children even at home. Repeated presentation of symptoms should raise suspicion of lactose intolerance.
There is unfortunately no cure of lactose intolerance, however, the good news is that even people with lactose intolerance can tolerate a small amount milk, example, one glass and fermented milk.
People with lactose intolerance should learn to avoid ingesting a lot of milk, increase the intake of other sources of calcium such as green vegetables like broccoli and okra.
Parents must continue to provide milk to their children after infancy through teenage.
As much as this will reduce the risk of developing lactose intolerance, it will increase nutritional availability of calcium which is crucial for the growth and development.
Milk consumption at school will provide another opportunity to ensure children get enough of the benefits. Furthermore, a need to increase awareness on milk consumption among the general public, investment in production of milk and affordability to the majority will remain relevant to realise the 2025 goal of increasing per capita consumption to 100 liters per year.