August 26, 2023 (MOMBASA, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) through its Learning Network on Nutrition Surveillance (LeNNS) in collaboration with East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC), UNICEF, WHO and USAID concluded the 4th Technical Workshop on Nutrition Surveillance with the theme: Moving from Regional Enthusiasm to Influencing Specific Country-level Actions in Nutrition Surveillance.
The three-day technical workshop brought together experts in nutrition programmes, policymakers, monitoring and evaluation departments, Bureau of Statistics, research institutions, universities, and development partners from Djibouti, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and representatives from ECSA-HC, UNICEF, WHO and USAID with the aim of taking stock of the LeNNS enthusiasm and increasing collaboration among countries and institutions to discuss mechanisms for moving the regional deliberations and achievements to country level action, and chart way forward for the network for its continuation and sustainability.
Speaking on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, at the opening of the workshop,, Dr. Fatuma Adan, IGAD Head of Mission to the Republic of Kenya said:
“IGAD as a developmental organization recognizes the challenges with data generation and use which remains critical for the development of countries in East and the Horn of Africa. The region has over 270 million inhabitants, and we are hosting over 18.3 million children whose growth has been negatively affected by poor nutrition. These are children at high risk of not achieving their full productivity capacity later in life. It is also known that about 20% of maternal mortality is directly or indirectly associated with malnutrition among women of reproductive age”.
During the workshop, participants were organized in three breakout sessions where each represented one LeNNS Technical Working Groups (TWGs) which included Food Security and Early Warning Surveillance (Early LeNNS), Routine surveillance (Routine-LeNNS), and Micronutrient surveillance (Micro-LeNNS). During these sessions, discussions focused on:
- proposing specific regional nutrition surveillance recommendations aspects for countries to adopt and adapt;
- suggesting country adoption and adaptation mechanisms; and
- proposing potential exchange visits by countries.
At the conclusion of the Technical Workshop, below were recommended as the way forward:
- Move the LeNNS agenda forward in the member countries by promoting in country actions and cross learning;
- Document and publish LeNNS achievements for the past one year; and
- Continue with virtual Technical Working Groups discussions.
The workshop was organized with financial support from USAID.