African Union Commission, international partner launch campaign to reduce adolescent girls’ malnutrition

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Hunger and Malnutrition
Hunger and Malnutrition

The African Union Commission (AUC) and Nutrition International, a not-for-profit agency, have joined forces to launch an advocacy campaign focused on reducing malnutrition, particularly in adolescent girls.

The advocacy campaign, dubbed “With Good Nutrition, She’ll Grow Into It,” is dedicated to improving the health, wellbeing and empowerment of girls in Africa through efforts to prevent iron-deficiency anaemia, the AU said in a statement issued Wednesday.

The two-year campaign aims to promote public awareness of the negative impacts of inadequate nutrition — especially iron-deficiency anaemia — on the health and education outcomes of adolescent girls, the AU said.

It said the initiatives envisage galvanizing the support of policymakers to prioritize investment in adolescent nutrition to scale up proven, low-cost, high-impact interventions for the prevention of iron-deficiency anaemia and improved nutrition education.

Figures from the AU show that the African continent is home to more than 250 million adolescents, the largest cohort of young people the world has ever seen.

“Yet, the continent sees an estimated 60 million cases of anaemia in adolescent girls each year, which costs African Union member states a staggering 1.38 billion U.S. dollars,” the AU said.

“Anaemia impairs cognitive functioning, compromises school performance, reduces productivity and affects current and future reproductive health,” an AU statement quoted Minata Samate Cessouma, the AUC commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, as saying during an event held recently to launch the initiative.

She said it is imperative for all AU member states to make reducing anaemia a priority so that adolescent girls can reach their full potential, and be active contributors to strong, prosperous African economies. Enditem

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