With Good Nutrition, She’ll Grow Into It: A call to action
On March 24, during the launch of the She’ll Grow Into It campaign, Her Excellency Cessouma Minata Samate, the African Union Commission’s Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, called for action advocacy for the prioritization of adolescent nutrition in AU member states.
Posted on March 27, 2023
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.
With these remarks, it’s my great pleasure to declare that SGII Campaign has officially launched!