Published: Friday, 02 October 2015 12:04
2 October 2015, SUN Secretariat, Freetown – International NGO, ACF launched a video on nutrition at the Vice Presidents Office on 2 October. Supported by SUN secretariat, Directorate of Food and Nutrition and civil society platform, the video “Good Nutrition: key to a healthy nation” is an advocacy tool which highlights achievements made by government and its partners to combat malnutrition.
Over 40 participants attended the launch. This included Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), Ministry of Finance (MoFED), Irish Aid, Civil society platform, UN Agencies and Kombra Media Network. In his opening remarks, the National Coordinator for SUN, Dr. Mohamed Foh described Scaling Up Nutrition as a “unique movement which unites government, donors, civil society, UN Agencies, private sector and researchers efforts to realize the goal for all to have the right to food and good nutrition”. He congratulated ACF and partners in the development of this video stating its importance for advocacy for policy change and global attention to Sierra Leone’s situation.
Referring to the success highlighted by the video the Director for Food (DFN) and Nutrition, MoHS Madam Aminata Shamit Koroma affirmed; “Much work has been done in relation to combating malnutrition. As a result the country has made some gains. We now have nutrition officers in all districts, a costed food and nutrition implementation plan we can work with, treatment centres for malnutrition have been scaled up and mother support groups the backbone for preventive care going strong.” Madam Koroma encouraged all partners to continue working together to ameliorate the burden of malnutrition.
Country Director for ACF Sasha Ekanayake said that the event crystalised partners commitment through various initiatives including the government’s poverty reduction strategy, “Agenda for Prosperity”. This showed considerable progress where stunting had been reduced from 37.4% in 2008 to 28.8% in 2014. Irish expressed full appreciation of the countries concerted effort and emphasised its commitment to support Sierra Leone to end malnutrition and improve the lives and development outcomes of the nation’s children.
The video will aired by Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation Television for 3 months to increase public awareness of malnutrition and heighten advocacy for further attention and commitment from policy makers to put nutrition at the top of the health and development agenda.