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Revised national nutrition policy wants local foods fortified

By Andrew Masinde

Added 18th March 2016 08:49 PM

The revised draft policy to be released next month, highlights that government will promote maternal nutrition and care, including encouraging exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life

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The revised draft policy to be released next month, highlights that government will promote maternal nutrition and care, including encouraging exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life

The revised National Nutrition Policy will demand that all common staple foods in Uganda are fortified as a strategy to improve healthy living.

The revised draft policy to be released next month, highlights that government will promote maternal nutrition and care, including encouraging exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life; timely, adequate, safe and appropriate complementary feeding and micronutrient intake between six and 24 months.

Silver Ssewannyana, the executive director Winsor consult ltd, a development consultancy firm hired by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to guide the process for designing the National Nutrition Policy 2016 told a stakeholders’ workshop at Hotel Africana on Wednesday that the final draft policy was almost ready. The workshop brought together members of the civil society organisations to get their input into the policy.

Boaz Musiimenta, the OPM senior policy analyst said the Nutrition Policy is aligned to the current legislation, sector specific nutrition plans, East Africa Community and nutrition aspirations espoused in international conventions, protocols, World Health Assembly targets for 2015, including those under Scaling Up Nutrition Movement (SUN), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly SDG number 2 and its targets 1 and 2.

 "Uganda will also adhere to the aspirations of the Africa Nutrition Strategy and adopt a holistic approach to nutrition and development that includes climate change, support to agriculture, strengthening of the health management systems, expanding sanitation and safe water, deepening services that reduce the spread of HIV and increase awareness for all people to embrace better feeding options,"  Musiimenta explained.

Musiimenta added that the policy provides a legal framework for all actors to design and implement policies and programs that address malnutrition in Uganda. This policy is a document of reference aimed at galvanizing the contribution of all stakeholders and coordinating a national response to the challenge of malnutrition at national and sub-national levels - and more focus at the community and household levels.

"The policy builds on past interventions under the Food and Nutrition Policy (2003) and Strategy (2005) and the UNAP (2011-2016). As Uganda progressed in economic growth and development, the policy context on nutrition has evolved 'beyond a narrow focus on food' to include a multi-sectorial approach that enlists the contribution of range of stakeholders including those in health, education, trade, industry and cooperatives; agriculture animal industry and fisheries; water and environment and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) among others state and non-state actors," he Musiimenta stressed.

Musiimenta also said that the policy is coordinated by the Office of the Prime Minster, local government Nutrition coordination Committees- (CAO) and development partners

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