Uganda Hosts Third Technical Workshop on the Learning Network on Nutrition Surveillance

Jun 6, 2023 - 09:38
Uganda Hosts Third Technical Workshop on the Learning Network on Nutrition Surveillance

UGANDA - The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has partnered with USAID and the Ministry for health in Uganda to bring stakeholders in a member states discussion on nutrition surveillance, running under the theme, ''Opportunities and Challenges in the nutrition and data value chain for greater impact in policies and programs in IGAD and ECSA-HC Regions. 

The three days engagement that took place in Kampala at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo started on 31st to 2nd June with objectives such as , reviewing and reflecting on the data value chain and identify ways and means to utilize existing data and evidence in guiding policy development and program implementation , sharing opportunities, experiences and successes in linking data and evidence with policy and practices in food and nutrition security, identifying data gaps in nutrition and mechanism to fill them that the countries and the region could implement in the immediate future and lastly within the three Learning Network on Nutrition Suveillance (LeNNS)-TWGS, continue with the technical consultations as part of achieving TWG commitments within the LeNNS framework.

In Nairobi Kenya, 2022 the LeNNs was launched in November, this exploited the need to for a linkage between policy makers, and research institutions in areas of surveillance data collection, synthesis interpretation and use of data. The second meeting was held in Dar es salaam Tanzania, in February 2023 that focused on sharing innovations in nutrition surveillance, both at regional and global level.

Countries are doing their best to input a lot of investments, they have built capacity, they have a belt, human resource capacity, infrastructure capacity, they are improving in their resources towards nutrition surveillance therefore they are really trying, Dr. Henry Mwebesa Director General Health Services Ministry of health said.

However, in each of the countries there are hotspots which are known where the nutrition surveillance data is not coming out. These hotspot areas are majorly the ones that are affected by drought, for example there is a country where some parts are very dry, food and nutrition security has been a challenge.

According to Mwebesa, "Those are the areas within our countries that have produced the same or generic things or showing bad nutrition indicators but I cannot say that this particular country is not doing well and this one is doing excellent."

The meeting intended to solve the challenges and what is needed to be addressed , there are challenges and partners are playing their part as countries and as regional institutions hence governments should share information because infant nutrition information is non controversial and it leads to improved nutrition outcomes, he added.

Some among the issues pointed out are the nutrition surveillance, data generation, quality data generation, timely data generation of the institutions particularly from the community to district and regional level so that quality data is generated and decisions are made , and how can capacities of different governments teach others . The element of cross boarder coordination has come very strongly and this is why IGAD and East African Community (EAC) are working together in unity to bring member states in unity at the boarder areas, Dr,Fatuma Adan head of Mission IGAD and Senior Nutritionist explained.

The engagement is purposed at addressing challenges such as to generate timely nutrition data , the data must influence decision and policy making by governments, also need the governments to start sharing nutrition information with the public because the challenges are similar, environments are similar and the economies are as well similar in Kenya , Uganda and elsewhere in the member states, therefore by coming together experiences are shared each other, she indicated.

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