Leadership Can Play Great Role in Governance for Nutrition Policies in Africa: Researcher Covic

Addis Ababa September 02/2018 Leadership can play a great role in governance for nutrition policies, programs and strategies on the African continent, Namukolo Covic, Research Coordinator at International Research Institute said.

On the sidelines of the African Nutritional Epidemiology Conference (ANEC) that started yesterday, Covic told ENA that “many countries like Ethiopia now have a lot of policies to improve the situation on nutrition in their country. But we also feel that leadership skills are needed to make sure that policies and strategies are implemented.”

She further stated that there are lots of initiations that all African countries can work on to address nutrition.

According to Covic, the Scaling up Nutrition Movement in Africa, Initiative for Food Security in Africa, and the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programs are some of the initiations in which Ethiopia is involved and help to strengthen cooperation between African countries on nutrition.

The 8th African Nutritional Epidemiology Conference (ANEC) aims to translate evidences into policies, and programs that focus on collaborative opportunities in the African nutrition landscape.

The five-day forum is being attended by over 500 nutrition scientists, public health professionals, academics, students and field-based workers in Africa and the rest of the world.

Among the participants, Save the Children Ethiopia Growth through Nutrition Project Deputy Head, Israel Hailu, said nutrition awareness to the public will address malnutrition related diseases such as stunting and pneumonia.

Inviting high-level political figures to become nutrition champion has influential role in solving the problem through allocating enough budget for educating the public to have awareness on nutrition, she added.

Making high-level political figures aware of the problem and its impacts helps the National Nutrition Program to have enough resource allocation by the government to address nutrition related diseases, Israel explained.

The causes of nutrition related diseases are not only drought and famine rather lack of awareness about nutrition to the public, she noted.

The conference is organized by Food and Nutrition Society of Ethiopia, African Nutrition Society, and Ethiopian Public Health Institute.