National nutrition workshop to improve the health of children and women in Liberia
Monrovia, Liberia, 14 September 2009 – UNICEF, with the Government of Liberia and USAID, is organizing a 4 day national workshop on the Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) framework to identify and strengthen good nutrition practices in Liberia to improve the health of children and women.
According to the latest nutritional survey done earlier this year, 36% of children in Liberia are stunted or too short for their age and 5% of the children are wasted, or too thin.
The four day workshop will gather a wide range of actors from the health and nutrition sector to exchange on the causes of malnutrition in Liberia and how to proceed in order to improve the situation.
This workshop is capital in paving the way forward and ensuring that preventive and promotive nutrition actions are implemented accordingly and correctly at all levels of the health system. The workshop will strengthen the nutrition component within the broader basic health package delivered through the primary health care system across the country.
“Good nutrition is key for the development of any country. However, malnutrition is still affecting too many children and women in Liberia. We have been focusing more on treatment rather than the promotion of good nutrition and the prevention of malnutrition and undernutrition”, said Dr John Agbor, UNICEF’s Chief of Child Survival and Development. “After this workshop, we will take it a step further and work with community health workers to discuss in details how to implement the good practices.”
UNICEF is working with the Government of Liberia and its partners to prevent and treat malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies through the promotion of infant and young child feeding practices including breastfeeding, micronutrient supplementation and deworming nation-wide, and support to treatment centers for severely malnourished children.