On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, The Nutrition Division through the Ministry of Health with support from donors and implementing partners validated it’s revised 2008 National Nutrition policy document at the St. Peter’s claver High School in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
The National Nutrition Policy validation working session which lasted for two days, April 2-3, 2019, brought together stakeholders, partners, line ministries, CHOs, as well as program managers and directors of various departments of the Ministry of Health. (MOH)
In collaboration with partners, the nutrition division decided to increase access to coverage by opening a nutrition unit at the J.F.K hospital and is expected to also establish one at the ELWA hospital.
According to the director of the Nutrition division, Dr. Anette Brima Davis, the validation was overdue because of the lack of funding. Dr. Davis deliberated that the objectives of the Nutrition policy is to mobilize stakeholders that are involved in nutrition specific and sensitive interventions to making sure that the nutrition needs of all Liberians are met and having the new development in the field of nutrition being reflected both at the global and national level. She said the policy will also create an enabling environment for partnership with line-ministries, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector. The National Nutrition Policy is also inclusive of a framework, to help government prioritize its nutrition actions considering the country’s limited financial resources.
Dr. Davis also stated that it is essential and appropriate to always have an intake of nutrients dense food made of proteins, carbohydrates vitamins with all of the necessary minerals coming together, will strengthen us as a people to have a healthy nutritional status. It will also reduce the issue of stunting. She said in order to have a healthy and productive society, nutrition should be prioritize to enhance the eradication of the major stunting challenge faced by this nation.
Dr. Davis said, stunting is 35.5% beyond the WHO threshold which is 28% below.
She also stated that the government of Liberia sees nutrition as a means of economic development thus including it in the pro poor agenda for prosperity and development (PAPD) as a way of reducing stunting from 35% to 22% come 2023. She then lauded the government of Liberia stakeholders, partners, the Minister of Health Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, counties supervisors and line-ministries for their overwhelming and continuous level of Enthusiasm brought to the process. She concluded and assured the participants and all well-meaning Liberians that with all hands on deck success is sure.