270689 Advocacy to reduce malnutrition: Lessons from Uganda, Ghana and Bangladesh

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Kavita Sethuraman, MS, PhD , FANTA-3 Project, FHI 360, Washington, DC
Tara Kovach, MPH , FANTA-3 Project, FHI 360, Washington, VA
A. Elisabeth Sommerfelt, MD, MS , FANTA-3 Project, FHI 360, Washington, DC
Alice Nkoroi, MS , FANTA-3 Project, FHI 360, Accra, Ghana
Robert Mwadime, PhD , FANTA-3 Project, FHI 360, Kampala, Uganda
Ferdousi Begum, MBBS, MS , FANTA-3 Project, FHI 360, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Nutrition policies and programs in Uganda, Ghana and Bangladesh have had limited impact on reducing child malnutrition over the past two decades. Malnutrition (including stunting, anemia, iodine deficiency and low-birth-weight) is an underlying contributor to childhood mortality. Nutrition, a complex issue that affects people across the lifespan, requires a coordinated, multi-sectoral approach. The FANTA-2 Project, with host country governments and in-country partners, used the PROFILES tool to estimate costs of malnutrition (e.g., expressed as lives lost and economic productivity losses) and gains in key development outcomes that could be achieved through investing in nutrition. The average annual economic productivity losses related to malnutrition are at ~$310 million in Uganda, ~$350 million in Ghana, and ~$2.5 billion in Bangladesh. Through a systematic planning approach, country teams developed successful nutrition advocacy strategies to develop targeted materials and disseminate PROFILES results to policymakers, program managers, media, civil society and other stakeholders. In Uganda, these efforts contributed to adoption of the multi-sectoral Uganda Nutrition Action Plan. In Bangladesh, a costing model estimating costs of scaling up effective nutrition interventions was undertaken during a Government planning year to ensure adequate resources for national nutrition services. In Ghana, government and non-government stakeholders are undertaking advocacy efforts in parallel with a nutrition policy process to mainstream nutrition. While each country is at different stages in the process, results of the advocacy campaigns include development of strong nutrition policies, increased investment and implementation of comprehensive programs addressing treatment and prevention of malnutrition and promoting wellness across the lifespan.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate ways in which PROFILES and the costing of nutrition programming can be used to support advocacy for nutrition policy change Define steps in the process to develop a national nutrition communication strategy, mobilize stakeholders, coordinate partners, develop materials and implement an advocacy campaign that addresses nutrition treatment and prevention across the lifespan Identify key lessons learned in nutrition advocacy in Uganda, Ghana and Bangladesh that can be applied to other country contexts

Keywords: Nutrition, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Senior Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Advisor for the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project(FANTA-3), funded by USAID, at FHI 360. I was the project lead on the nutrition advocacy work in the three countries highlighted in the abstract - Uganda, Ghana and Bangladesh - and worked with a team of in-country experts on the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3149.1: Advocacy & Global Health