Nutrition (NUT)

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The nutrition area of work aims to contribute to the improvement of the food and nutritional status of populations of countries in the African Region, particularly vulnerable groups (babies, young children, pregnant women and nursing mothers). This goal is pursued by assisting Member States to:

  • Incorporate nutritional objectives and components into development policies and programmes;
  • Strengthen nutrition assessment and surveillance
  • Build capacity to develop nutrition policies, strategies and plans taking into account the country nutritional status;
  • Prepare and implement programmes for the control of nutritional deficiencies;
  • Prepare guidelines and/or reinforce implementation of infant and young child feeding (IYCF);
  • Develop human capacity for control of food and nutrition, particularly in emergency situations;
  • Integrate nutrition into care and support for people living with HIV-AIDS
  • Develop nutritional research particularly in the areas of food and nutrition;

In collaboration with the African Union, a Regional Plan of action for implementing the African Regional Nutrition Strategy (ARNS) was developed, and an Expert Consultative meeting held on the ARNS. Consequently a high level buy-in and commitment was obtained to wage war against malnutrition in Africa through a multi-sectoral approach using the ARNS as the launching pad. National level training and development of national guidelines on facility-based management of severe malnutrition has also been supported in several countries.

There has been active partnerships with key stakeholders and partners in the implementation and promotion of key activities such as: the promotion of optimal foetal growth and development using Essential Nutrition Action as the entry point; capacity building on the Integrated Infant and Young Child Feeding Counseling Course; implementation of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the context of HIV/AIDS; implementation and monitoring of the International Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes; and training on the new WHO Child Growth Standard. There have also been increased efforts at mainstreaming nutrition into MNCH and HIV services at various forums. Countries have also been sensitized and provided technical orientation on the need to revitalize nutrition surveillance in countries.