African countries and their stakeholders have committed to collaborate and work together to tackle malnutrition in the continent, said the African Union Commission (AUC) on Tuesday.
The AUC, East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC), AUDA-NEPAD, Regional Economic Communities(RECs) and partners met in Johannesburg from Monday to Tuesday to discuss how to tackle malnutrition.
“We want our children to grow, go to school healthy, enter the job market and contribute to the gross domestic product of our countries. We agreed to have a focal person for early child development and have regional champions for the children,” said Margaret Agama, Acting Director for the Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development Department in the AUC.
She said the Agenda 2063’s goal one and three aim to have citizens of Africa to enjoy a quality life, well-nourished and have a life expectancy of 75 years.
Agama said they will be meeting with departments of social development, education, and health to discuss collaboration in combining addressing early childhood development and nutrition. She said if children do not get nutritious food, they won’t perform well in school.
The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD)’s senior advisor on Food and Nutrition Security Boitshepo Giyose said they resolved to launch the response to tackle malnutrition in all countries this year and give the country guidance on how to successfully tackle stunted growth.
She said African countries have to “talk less and do more” in ensuring citizens of the continent are healthy as they are future leaders.
Rosemary Mwaisaka, Nutrition and Development Specialist at ECSA Health Community said during the meeting they scrutinized the strategies and policies from different regions to fill up the gaps and learn from best practices.
“The meeting gave us a platform to advance and champion the agenda of the youth and children,” she said. Enditem