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Read below the call to action made by Her Excellency Samate at the event.

An estimated 30% of adolescent girls in Africa are anaemic with approximately half of these cases due to iron deficiency resulting from poor socio-economic status and intrahousehold food distribution that fails to compensate for increased iron requirements related to their rapid growth and menstrual loss. As a result, anaemia impairs cognitive functioning, compromises school performance, reduces productivity and affects current and future reproductive health.

The successful implementation of the African Regional Nutrition Strategy (2016-2025) rests on six targets to be attained by 2025. “These include a 40% reduction of stunting among children under five years; 50% reduction of anaemia among women of childbearing age; 30% reduction of low birth weights; no increase of overweight in children under five years of age and women; 50% increase in exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life; and to reduce and maintain wasting among children under 5 to less than 5%.” Furthermore, to improve nutrition, ARNS recommends nutrition-sensitive education to increase the knowledge and understanding of nutrition among young ‘parents-to-be’ and improve the nutritional status of adolescent girls.

Further, the Abidjan Declaration  has called on all member states to ‘ACT to end malnutrition in all its forms, taking particular account of the specific needs of all children, including the youngest, adolescent girls, women, the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, as well as people in humanitarian crises, with a special focus on women and children in the 1,000-day window between conception and the child’s second birthday.’

The launch of the adolescent nutrition campaign entitled – She’ll Grow Into it (SGII) is a call for action advocacy for the prioritization of adolescent nutrition in AU Member States.

  1. We call on all AU Member States, through the implementation of the Africa Regional Nutrition Strategy (2016-2025); Africa Health Strategy (2016-2030); Abidjan Declaration and others, to prioritize adolescent nutrition in their programs and budgets and to advocate for prioritization of adolescent nutrition in different sectors, including health, agriculture, education, social safety net and water and sanitation.
  2. Advocate for adolescent nutrition through the engagement of young people to reduce the prevalence of anaemia among girls and ensure girls are well-nourished and equipped to make informed health choices which contribute to improving the health, well-being and empowerment of girls in Africa
  3. Promote national policies and development plans that address iron-deficiency anaemia and nutrition education in adolescent girls through multisector approaches and include adolescent girls in program design and accountability
  4. Mobilize resources for the scale-up of proven low-cost, high impact interventions for preventing iron-deficiency anaemia and improved nutrition education in adolescent girls.
  5. Call upon the AU Member States, with the support of the African Union Commission and key stakeholders, to roll out this campaign in their respective Member States.

With these remarks, it’s my great pleasure to declare that SGII Campaign has officially launched!