IBFAN Africa Commits to Good Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition Practices
Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister worked closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH), IBFAN Uganda, and other partners to host the 9th IFBAN Africa Regional Conference, which attracted approximately 283 participants from 14 African countries.
With a theme of “Translating the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding into Optimal Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition in Africa,” the conference focused on:
- Reviewing progress on maternal, infant, and young child feeding policies and practices in the Africa Region;
- Providing updates and contextualizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for maternal, infant, and young child feeding in the Africa Region;
- Sharing the experiences and good practices from implementation of maternal, infant, and young child feeding interventions in the Africa Region;
- Identifying knowledge and action research gaps in policy and programming on maternal, infant, and young child feeding in the African Region; and
- Electing the IBFAN Africa Executive Committee (IAEC) members who provide oversight and guidance to the IBFAN Regional Office.
A conference highlight included the appointment of Ms. Barbara Tembo as the new Regional Coordinator for IBFAN Africa. Ms. Tembo is a founding member of IBFAN Uganda, and she previously worked with the MOH and World Food Programme.
The conference resonated with SPRING/Uganda, as the project has been involved in Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF)-related initiatives, such as its “Great Mothers, Health Children” campaign. During the conference, SPRING/Uganda showcased its past contributions toward addressing the issues of undernutrition and stunting. The project also highlighted its ongoing efforts in the areas of anemia, micronutrient powders, and industrial fortification.
While visiting the SPRING exhibition stall, the Guest of Honor at the opening ceremony, Minister of Health Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, expressed his appreciation for SPRING’s work helping to roll out the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan 2011 – 2016.
In his remarks, Dr. Tumwesigye noted that the implementation of the Global Strategy, with its emphasis on community involvement, is intended to guide country policies, plans, and programs towards the improvement of the nutritional status, growth, and development of infants and young children.
He urged the participants from the different African countries to embrace the opportunity of addressing nutrition challenges at the grassroots level. He also highlighted robust social behavioral change communication programming that engages the Village Health Team members, as highlighted in the recently launched National Nutrition Advocacy and Communication Strategy that SPRING helped to create.
Pictured: Minister of Health Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye visits the SPRING exhibit.