Supplementary food supply

Inevitable in Corona like situation : study

Researchers in a Meet the Press opined that the knowledge level among people varied in terms of balance diet, nutrition, supplementary foods. They urged more concern from the Government and individual level to teach people about immune system thus in terms developing herd immunity among the people of Bangladesh to fight crisis like current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Meet the Press on “Knowledge of Nutrition and a Balanced Diet on the Public Health Emergency Situation during the Covid-19 Outbreak” was organized at the Liaison Office of Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur on June 01, 2020 (Monday) at 12.00 PM. The program was organized by Dr. Wazed Research and Training Institute, Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur, and Western Sydney University, Australia.

The main objective of this study was to explore knowledge levels of nutrition and balanced diet among people of Bangladesh during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The study was conducted a cross-sectional survey using an online platform by Dr. Wazed Research and Training Institute, Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur and School of health Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Australia. During the time of lock-down in different parts of Bangladesh between April and May 2020, a cross-sectional and self-administered online survey were conducted by using social media where 11,232 respondents completed survey questionnaires correctly.

The study has found that out of 11,232 respondents, males were (51%), whereas females and others were (47.7%) and (1.3%) respectively. In addition, 35.4% of the respondents were between 18 and 26 years and 66.7% of the respondents were employed in different professional jobs. Overall, 79.2% of the respondents were living with their families. Among 11,232 respondents, 46.4% said that they had good knowledge on coronavirus, but surprisingly 64.6% respondents claimed that they had very poor level of knowledge on the prevention of coronavirus. When the question came of their knowledge of balanced diet,  66.3% respondents had answered in the affirmative. It reflects that though people know what balanced food is, more concern is required on the components of a good balanced diet to develop a strong immune system. In addition, we know that WHO had provided guidelines concerning nutrition during “COVID-19” lockdown/quarantine but the study found that 83.3% respondents were not aware of that guidelines. Thus, the finding provides a level of thought to the policy makers of Bangladesh to concern about nutrition among people during this pandemic. Among the respondents, 89.4% and 81.1% respectively admitted that eating a well-balanced diet and taking supplementary food will develop healthier and stronger immune systems and lower the risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases like COVID-19. The study also found that 51.1% respondents wanted the Government to arrange for supplementary foods supply to meet the food demand in crisis like COVID-19 pandemic.

The chief investigator of the study was the Vice-Chancellor of Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur, Professor Dr. Major Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah, BNCCO, and the Associate Investigator was Tanvir Abir, Associate Professor of International University of Business Agriculture and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Dr. Kingsley Agho, Senior Lecturer, School of health Science, University of Western Sydney, Australia. Associate Researchers were Dewan Muhammad Nur -A Yazdani, Assistant Professor, International University of Business Agriculture and Technology Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Md. HabiburRahman, M Phil Research Fellow, Dr. Wazed Research and Training Institute, Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur and others.