SPRING Exhibits at the Inaugural Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Nutrition
The Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Nutrition, the first of its kind, was launched on June 20, 2017 with the support of SPRING/Uganda and other USAID-funded partners. USAID implementing partners SPRING, FANTA, Advocacy for Better Health, and Communication for Healthy Communities, along with World Vision Uganda and UNICEF participated in planning for the forum, which will be officially launched in May. The forum brought together more than 160 parliament members interested in improved nutrition as a means to a healthy and prosperous Uganda.
At the launch, policy makers learned about efforts to address challenges in nutrition by visiting partners' exhibits. SPRING/Uganda exhibited work focused on food fortification and vitamin and mineral powders to prevent and control anemia and stunting.
During the launch, Innocent Penatagon Kamusiime, the chairperson of the forum's steering committee, said, "The forum will be a rallying point in parliament for advocacy and planning for nutrition services. It will mobilize resources for key health and nutrition activities in the country."
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, urged legislators to sensitize other members on issues of nutrition and food security. At the forum, Speaker Kadaga advised attendees to draft a national nutrition bill and submit it to parliament.
Dr. Ruhakana Ruganda, the prime minister and the event's guest of honor, said nutrition is key to social development and added that the government has a plan to reduce the number of malnourished children in the country by 2020. He pledged his office's support and commended the forum members for prioritizing nutrition.
Work has already started. Chairperson Kamusiime reported that plans to develop and disseminate nutrition briefs to all parliamentarians are underway. He added that, "We also hope to open an interactive website that will be a one-stop center for nutrition services and information."