NaNA’s new advocacy tool for nutrition launched
Monday, July 09, 2012
The new nutrition advocacy tool for the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), entitled ‘Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative in The Gambia’, was Friday launched by the vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Her Excellency Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.
The launching that brought together substantial partners such as the UN, among others, called for enormous investment in nutrition with a view to ensure sustainable wellbeing of everyone. It also highlighted impacts of malnutrition on key areas of health, education and economy, sending signals to put all hands on desk to enhance good and maximum nutrition.
official launching statement, VP Njie-Saidy said SUN is not a new initiative,
institution or fund, but instead a movement that increases the effectiveness of
the existing initiative and programmes by supporting national leadership for
nutrition, while encouraging focus and alignment of this support and enabling
the participation of wide range of stakeholders to foster broad ownership and
share responsibility for results.
She reminded the gathering that the SUN movement was established in 2010 and as of now 28 other countries have joined the movement and are home to more than one quarter of the children in the world who experience chronic malnutrition. “Through the pavement, countries work together to establish the most effective ways in which to scale up actions and yield measurable results,” she stated.
VP Njie-Saidy noted that the SUN movement is at a critical point in its evolution, saying that nutrition has risen on many global agendas, such as the G8, G20, Rio +20 and the UN among others. “This new attention presents unique opportunities for coordinated and coherent action,” she said, adding that stakeholders in the movement at both countries, regional and global levels have a responsibility to ensure this political momentum is translated into result.
Njie-Saidy also told the gathering that the political will and support by the
government under the dynamic leadership of the Gambian leader, His Excellency
Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh has amply been demonstrated by the
establishment of an appropriate institutional framework with the establishment
of a Nutrition Council and Board as well as the formulation of a comprehensive
Nutrition Policy Strategy and a coasted business plan on nutrition.
“We are therefore, placing importance on achieving significant nutrition outcomes through shared results and accountability frameworks, transparent measurement systems and tracking of financing and investment that stimulate full participation from all key stakeholders in the country,” she added.
president further reminded the gathering that the launching of the SUN in The
Gambia would be most successful in aligning and mobilising resources and
efforts if all effectively build on what already exists in the country and if
it can draw on the support mechanisms established by regional bodies like
Ecowas and NEPAD, by development banks and by the UN agencies.
continued: “There is a real potential for The Gambia to combine the scaling up
of specific high-impact nutrition interventions with the widespread adoption of
nutrition-sensitive strategy across relevant sectors such as education,
agriculture, water and sanitation and health.”
The vice president assured that every effort would be made to ensure that existing programmes and services that are most critical for good nutrition are concurrently implemented on a scale such as the bay friendly community initiatives and the nutrition education programme in lower basic schools among others.
stressed that The Gambia’s Vision 2020’s attainment of sustainable economic and
social development, food security and nutrition improvement and an equitable
distribution of income and wealth can only be realised if there is adequate
investment in human capacity development particularly children and women’s
She then called for more responsibility and commitment to the nation’s wellbeing by participating in these nationwide efforts to address malnutrition issue that threaten the future of so many Gambian children. The vice president acknowledged the support of partners particularly the World Bank, UNICEF, FAO, WAHO and WFP among others.
The executive director of NaNA, Pa Modou Phall, in his welcoming remarks said that the launching has shown a clear commitment in the fight against malnutrition in the country. He spoke about the need to invest in nutrition and therefore called for all to come together by making strategies that seek to put malnutrition at bay, while dilating on the importance of resource mobilisation, saying without resources efforts would be hampered in the struggle. While acknowledging that a lot has been done with proven interventions, he stressed that there is still need for huge investment to ensure sustainability in nutrition.
Isatou Jange-Ngum from NaNA made a power point presented on ‘why investment in nutrition is essential for the economic development in The Gambia’. She dilated on the consequences of malnutrition, saying it can lead to low birth weight in children, impaired immune system and reduce human productivity.
Author: Bekai Njie