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International conference promotes maternal and child nutrition in South Asia

Posted:  Monday, November 23, 2015

Globally, 159 million children are stunted and of these 40% are South Asian children. In terms of nutrition, infants, young children and women of reproductive belong to the most vulnerable stages of the life cycle. With this in mind, the International Conference on ‘Effective Delivery through Evidence and Innovation’ promoted maternal and child nutrition to address child malnutrition in South Asia.

The South Asia Infant Feeding Research Network (SAIFRN) and the United Nations Children’s’ Fund (UNICEF) jointly organized the conference, in association with the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the University of Colombo and University of Sydney.

Shedding light on the importance of maternal & child nutrition, UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative, Ms. Una McCauley stated that, “Every child has the right to proper nutrition, and proper and adequate nutrition for every child and every woman is imperative to ensure their health, their education and wellbeing, and the wellbeing of future generations. It also plays a significant role for the nation and contributes to reducing poverty, promoting social and economic development and reducing inequities.”

The Sri Lankan policies and programmes, skilled public health work force, collaborative communities and multi-sectoral approaches are proof enough that nutrition initiatives are being upgraded to help women and children in the country.

The Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and key officials of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, UNICEF, WHO, Australian High Commission, and representatives from the global academic and research sectors were part of this conference. The conference provided the stage to review the challenges and strategies to achieve optimum maternal and child nutrition in the developing world, including policies, innovative technologies and multi-sectoral approaches.

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