We are excited to join the African continent in marking Africa Day on 25 May. Theis year’s theme is “The Year of Nutrition.” Africa is facing an increasingly complex range of interconnected challenges impacting food systems and efforts fighting malnutrition.
We applaud the leadership of African Union and African Heads of State and Government, in placing focus on strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the African Continent. Calling for attention towards improving nutrition will help to make stronger agro-food systems, health and social protection systems which, support the acceleration of human, social and economic development.
We deliberately formulate nutrition programmes which focus on people and not malnutrition as a disease; we respond to how people live their lives. We believe positive health outcomes rely on people living well; when they drive, build and maintain good health in their communities.
We engage and work together with disadvantaged people to improve their nutrition status, change behaviors and other practices amongst pregnant and lactating women, children under two and adolescent girls. In nutrition groups we promote cooking demonstrations, garden farming, food hygiene and improve the sanitation conditions. We go for changing attitudes and equipping people with knowledge and practical skills.
Our member, ADPP Mozambique is leading the implementation of Transform Nutrition Project with four other local partners. The project is being funded by USAID. The nutrition project is a 5-year initiative which, started in 2019 and is being carried out in 12 high priority districts of Nampula province. ADPP Mozambique’s Transform Nutrition project has a broad set of activities designed to address the complex interactions between food, health, sanitation and hygiene and education and their combined impact on people’s nutrition and health. The project aims to improve the nutritional status of 118 000 pregnant and lactating women, 260 000 adolescent girls, and 165 000 children under 2 years, corresponding to 80% in the targeted districts. People are engaged in diversified interventions which help to improve nutritional and sanitation practices, supported with key messages through radio interactive programs.
In Malawi, our member DAPP Malawi’s Nutrition Project in Machinga engaged in an active case finding and management of malnutrition through a one-year project which undertook screening, provided care and nutrition as it managed severe and moderate malnutrition in children below the age of 2 years. Using the Ministry of Health’s approved Community Management of Acute Malnutrition guidelines, DAPP Malawi reached out to 37 354 people especially pregnant and lactating mothers and mothers of children under the age of five with information on how to detect malnutrition.
In Zambia, our member DAPP Zambia has for the past 4 year operated the Farmers’ Clubs Nutrition project incorporating diversified agriculture and nutrition by working together with 12,500 farmer families, who are organized in 320 Farmers’ Clubs. The project activities train farmers to use improved and diversified farming methods and promotes good nutrition in the homes. This contributes to improving food and nutritional situations for vulnerable communities. In 2021, 1 280 Nutrition Champions were actively training their fellow farmers in exclusive breast feeding, they carried out community growth monitoring with the local health centers using Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tapes and 279 Farmers’ Clubs held cooking demonstrations with a total attendance of 10 935 people among them were 4 273 pregnant and lactating mothers. 10 221 students in 54 schools were reached with nutrition and garden farming education in their Health and Nutrition Clubs and established nutrition gardens at the schools.
In Angola we have our member, ADPP Angola, promoting food and nutrition security in the face of continued climate variability. The project titled Strengthening of Resilience and Food and Nutrition Security programme (FRESCAN) is jointly implemented by CODESPA. More than 1 500 smallholder farmers in Cunene province are adopting. In 2021, the project organized nutrition education, measured MUAC for close to 1,900 children, planted 650 fruit trees, conducted 30 cooking demonstrations, raised awareness on the importance of nutrition to 1000 women and encouraged good practices towards safe consumption of water and milk, all of which contributed to improving household diets.
We remain committed to invest and implement nutrition programmes as part of our contribution to fighting challenges facing nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. Government support and donor support will all contribute to achieving the Malabo Declaration and the Africa regional Nutrition Strategy 2016-2025 targets when political will and finance are channeled towards improving nutrition on the continent.