Khartoum, 28 October 2018 --- The World Health Organization (WHO) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Health in Sudan organized a 3-day regional workshop in Khartoum to endorse the Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition in the Eastern Mediterranean Region countries.
The Comprehensive Implementation Plan includes six Global Nutrition Targets to be achieved by 2025. These targets focus on reducing the number of stunted children under five years of age by 40%, women of reproductive age with anemia by 50%, low birth weight by 30%, increase exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months to at least 50%, and reduce and keep wasting in children to under 5%.
The workshop marked the participation of national nutrition specialists directly involved in nutrition surveillance and reporting in member countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia, and Morocco.
“Strengthening the national nutrition surveillance capacity in Sudan is on top of the country’s national priorities,” said Dr. Naeema Al Gasseer, WHO Representative in Sudan.
“WHO, alongside the national health authorities, is closely monitoring and evaluating the progress of the global nutrition policies and programs in Sudan to better achieve the Global Nutrition Targets for 2025 plan.”
The causes of malnutrition are interconnected. Insufficient access to affordable nutritious food throughout the year, inadequate access to health sanitation and clean water services, lack of good care for mothers and children, in addition to supporting parents on appropriate child feeding practices are among these causes which are rooted in poverty, disempowering women, and cultural environment and environmental degradation.
“The workshop is expected to familiarize Sudan, among other participating countries, with the global nutrition monitoring framework (GNMF) to assist them in tracking their progress and have a reliable, timely and sustainable surveillance system,” said Dr. Ayoub Al Jawaldeh, Regional Nutrition Advisor for WHO Regional Office EMRO. “It will also familiarize participating countries with the harmonized methods for data collection, analysis and reporting on the gaps in national nutrition indicators and recommendations.”
The GNMF has 20 indicators, of which six are outcome indicators for monitoring global nutrition targets, five intermediate indicators, six process indicators, and three policy environment and capacity indicators.
“This training will certainly enhance monitoring the national targets in region countries and allow the comparability of data for monitoring the global nutrition targets.” Said Dr. Ahmed Mustafa participant in the workshop. “This can only be done through aligning the indicators included in the national surveillance systems to those in the GNMF and adopt best practices for data collection in region countries” he added.
The Workshop recommended integrating the nutrition surveillance system in Sudan with other available systems like the polio surveillance. It also encouraged using epidemiological and Raw data at the health facility level.
WHO has been heavily involved in the national nutrition program in Sudan through facilitating and guiding activities of Civil Society Alliance and coordinating with various partners, national sectors, and donors. So far, the organization has supported 8 Civil Society Organizations, 2 of them received grants to facilitate their field activities.
Further, nutrition surveillance in Sudan has so far been supported by WHO and donor communities to generate data on nutrition situation on regular basis which is essential to measure impacts and design programs interventions.
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WHO is a specialized public health organization mandated to provide the most reliable and evidence-based technical assistance, strategic and operational guidance to countries worldwide. WHO works closely with Sudan’s Ministry of Health and related sectors on daily bases to identify priorities and guide the health sector on preparedness, effective and efficient response to health and health care requirements.
For more information on WHO and its work in Sudan, visit: http://www.emro.who.int/countries/sdn/index.html