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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Maximizing the Impact of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition

Stella Kimambo
Stella KimamboFAOUnited Republic of Tanzania

Dear FSN- Moderator,

Kindly find below ideas regarding activities that need to be implemented or accelerated to improve the food security and nutrition of the people of Tanzania

Regards

Stella

FAO Tanzania

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Introduction

Tanzania recognizing that malnutrition is a developmental challenge, and a national threat to achieving our national socio-economic objectives, especially of being an industrial knowledge driven Middle Income Country by 2025. Therefore, we expect UN Nutrition Action Plan to interpret well the decade of Food and Nutrition into an evidence-based strategic action plan that also contextualizes adaption of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and regional nutrition relevant strategies that a country can state party to take practical steps to ensure nutrition sector policies, strategies, programmes are nutrition sensitive.

Tanzania has gone through demographic, epidemiologic and nutrition transition. Nutrition has, however, contributed to the current   and   future rate of disease burden. Reasons for the transition are contested. The causal linkages however, may   be   more   complicated   especially   in   recent   times,   where   advances   and diffusion in technology have contributed to changes in mortality and morbidity. This level of stunting (50% to 34% (1992 to 2015/16) is categorized as severe in public health significance and is above the 30% average for Africa. Moreover, a double burden of malnutrition has emerged where undernutrition exists together with a rapidly increasing problem of diet-related non-communicable diseases (DRNCDs), especially overweight, obesity, hypertension and type -2 diabetes that have doubled in adults during the last decade.

QI: What are your expectations for the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and how could it make a significant difference in improving nutrition and food security of the people in Tanzania within the next ten years?

UN Decade of Action on Nutrition should include the following critical activities to the Work Programme,

  • Strengthening private sector contribution to improve complex nature of nutrition and health  
  • Supportive cross-cutting strategies that requires the effective contribution of multiple actors, sectors and administrative levels, such us Social and behavior change communication (SBCC), Community-Public-Private Partnerships(C-PPP) and integrate  nutrition and gender.
  • Ensure national and global scientific evidence-based sharing of experience and intergenerational transfer of knowledge. contribute significantly towards country’s vision of eliminating malnutrition as a problem of public health significance by 2030 as adopted by the UN General Assembly’s Agenda 2030 on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Provide appropriate nutritional guidelines  and support to communities during emergencies and disasters;
  • Provide evidence base guideline of nutritional care/information and support for disabled people particularly those with impaired vision and deaf.
  • Strengthening prevention and management of Diet Related Non-Communicable Diseases (DRNCDs)
  • Integrate comprehensive methods that take on healthy diets, lifestyles, and sustainable food systems
  • Establishing a multisectoral food security and nutrition information system that can capture both nutrition specific and sensitive interventions
  • Provide food based approach guidelines to tackle problem of malnutrition though agriculture related nutrition sensitive interventions
  • Support reviewing of education programme curriculum for certificates and diploma level so as to increases food and nutrition scientist who can work at community level
  • Develop tools for monitoring and evaluation of nutrition in view of multisectoral approach

Q2; Which activities would need to be accelerated in your country to reach these targets?

  • Strengthening private sector contribution to improve complex nature of nutrition and health increase investments in production, processing, storage and marketing of high-value nutritious and healthy products and in the provision of essential basic social services (food, health, water, sanitation and hygiene) for nutrition improvement;
  • Advocacy and Social mobilization to sustain political Will and Government commitment to nutrition and to mobilise adequate resources for nutrition.
  • Link Research to the programmes and training to assure national and global scientific evidence-based sharing of experience and intergenerational transfer of knowledge.
  • Nutrition emergency response action plan to disaster and crisis
  • Review the integrated Maternal, Infant, Young Child and Adolescent Nutrition training packages and orient different ministries and agencies nutrition officers and Development partners on the packages
  • Advocate and develop guidelines for multiple micronutrients supplements
  • Mapping of economic groups in the community and train them on food base approach to tackle the problem of Vitamin A rich foods at lower level
  • Promote Evidence based interventions to address micronutrients deficiencies include both nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.
  • Develop Social and behavior change communication (SBCC) for nutrition through interpersonal communication and mass media communication to support adoption of appropriated behavior and practices for improved nutrition
  • Support reviewing of education programme curriculum for certificates and diploma level so as to increases food and nutrition scientist who can work at community level
  • Undertake formative research to identify barriers and motivating factors that influence behaviours which increase demand for iodized salt
  • Provide evidence based guideline of nutritional care/information and support for disabled people particularly those with impaired vision and deaf.
  • Develop advance tools of nutrition indicator that capture impact of Nutrition sensitive interventions on future positive impacts on nutrition status.
  • Strengthening prevention and management of Diet Related Non-Communicable Diseases (DRNCDs)
  • Integrate comprehensive methods that take on healthy diets, lifestyles, and sustainable food systems interpretation to total dietary consumption.
  • Develop/update pre-service  IMAM training curriculum and revise in-service IMAM training package (guidelines, protocol, monitoring tools and job aids)
  • Develop a comprehensive community outreach and mobilization package to address negative social norms, IMAM barriers, early SAM/MAM detection and treatment
  • Conduct advocacy with the Government and Development Partners to ensure adequate funding and prioritization of IMAM in Tanzania
  • Review/develop and validate and print comprehensive guidelines (for community, clinical and e-learning) on healthy lifestyles for Tanzania
  • Provide technical capacity to strengthening routing nutrition data collection, management and interpretation by health care provides/nutritionist through available health information systems

Q3: What can be done to accelerate and improve the quality of commitments from the various actors? What role(s) should public and private actors play in monitoring their implementation?

 

The key nutrition implementers: Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies Development Partners; NGOs, the Private Sector; Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including NGOs and Faith-Based Organizations (FBO); the Private Sector, political parties and communities

 

Government;

Coordinate the overall national response to nutrition including ensuring effective contribution by Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Support the multi-sectoral response to nutrition and ensuring that nutrition is adequately mainstreamed in policies and strategies of the key line ministries (Provide oversight for governance and accountability of all sectors and actors in nutrition)

Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA)

To ensure that nutrition is adequately reflected in MDA policies, strategic plans, programs, legislation, regulations and guidelines as well as monitoring the integration of nutrition interventions

NGOs, CBOs, FBOs

 

Integrate nutrition issues in their programs, projects and activities targeting communities and households; and align their nutritional plans with the government plans at the respective level within the context of the national nutrition action plans.

Professional Bodies

 

Will issue professional guidance in nutrition, conduct research, set professional standards and participate in the development of nutrition curricula for pre-service, in-service and continuing education; and supporting outreach activities on nutrition in communities

Political Parties

 

Political parties are in a unique position to promote nutrition improvement, given their reach and influence in mobilizing for social goals Incorporate food and nutrition improvement issues in their election  manifestos and campaigns; Advocate for the prioritisation of nutrition in national Support initiatives for improvement of food and nutrition especially in vulnerable groups

Private Sector Institutions and media

Private sector.

The private sector will partner with Government in the provision of nutrition-relevant services at all Increase investments in production, processing, storage and marketing of high-value nutritious and healthy products and in the provision of essential basic social services (food, health, water, sanitation and hygiene) for nutrition improvement; Invest in production and marketing of appropriate low cost-labour saving technologies that enhance food and nutrition improvement at community level;

The Media

The mass media will be responsible for advocating and conveying accurate information to the public and create awareness so as to influence positive behavioral changes for nutrition improvement in line with National Social and Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC) Strategy. 

Development Partners

Development Partners, including the UN agencies, multilateral and bilateral organizations need to mobilise technical and financial resources for implementation, capacity development, monitoring and evaluating the UN decade for action on nutrition, also bring in international experience, norms and standards, evidence-based guidance and insights to adjust strategy and promote international cooperation in the implementation of nutrition interventions.

Q4: How can other relevant forums, such as the CFS and the UNSCN, contribute, and how can other movements (e.g. human rights, environment) be involved in the Decade

  • Encourage international platform for partnership on nutrition, opportunities to exchange information and share technical resources.
  • Promote cooperation among UN agencies and DPs in support of community national regional and international efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in viscous cycle of malnutrition.
  • Effectively engaging in high level decision making, support strong leadership at all level
  • Develop a nutrition contingency plan for addressing nutrition needs of populations that are prone to climate change hazards, right to food approach etc.
  • Increased coverage of nutrition sensitive interventions from key development sectors (Agriculture and Food Security; Health and HIV; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Education; Social Protection and Environment and Climate Change).
  • Good nutrition is a human right. CFS and the UNSCN can contribute enhance nutrition as a human right in the identification of the policy that explicitly mention the right to health and nutrition. These include among others the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women and the African Charter on Human Rights.
  •  CFS and the UNSCN greatly expected to contribute to Tanzania’s political agenda of peace and stability and propelling the country into middle income country (MIC) status by 2025. Thus contributes to global security and peace and provides national anchor for the implementation of the global development and normative agendas. Hence, the UN Nutrition Action plan  galvanizes both global and national social and development agendas into national action plans for sustainable development
  • In this decade, Tanzania expected to become a MIC without the shifts that characterize middle income countries! The pattern of current economic growth is dominated by physical infrastructure (industry, minerals including gas and the service sector with little growth in the Agriculture and Food Security Sector which employ the majority of Tanzanians and more directly related to enhancing malnutrition. Moreover, despite a strong economic growth for over a decade some key areas like poverty reduction, inequality, stunting and uptake of critical services like family planning have not progressed as well as expected. Thus CFS and the UNSCN will ensuring that Tanzania enters MIC status without sliding backwards in its human capital development.
  • Technical and financial support to Multi-Sectoral High-Level Steering Committee for Nutrition (HLSCN) at the Prime Minister’s Office to facilitate multi-sectoral coordination and synergy.

 

Submitted by:

Ms. Stella Kimambo,

National Food Security and Nutrition Officer,

FAO, Dar es salaam, Tanzania