Stop Stunting

Power of Maternal Nutrition

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UNICEF ROSA/2016/Pirozzi


Maternal malnutrition has far reaching consequences for both the mother and her infant’s survival, growth, development and long-term health. While progress has been made in South Asia, the status of women’s nutrition is a serious cause for concern. One in five women in the region are too thin, one in ten women in the region have short stature, anaemia is a severe or moderate public health problem in seven out of eight countries and overweight and obesity are rapidly rising. Countries in the region may not reach the global nutrition targets of the Sustainable Development Goals and World Health Assembly without the improved nutritional care of women.

The Regional Conference on Stop Stunting | Power of Maternal Nutrition was convened by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), together with Nutrition International, from 7th to 9th May 2018 in Kathmandu. It brought together 120 participants, including government representatives from all eight SAARC member countries together with researchers, civil society organizations, United Nations agencies and other development partners from across South Asia and the global level to exchange regional analyses, evidence, expertise and experiences on the nutritional care of women during pregnancy and postpartum in South Asia. The meeting culminated in a Call to Action comprising 10 key actions to accelerate progress in the nutritional care of women during pregnancy and postpartum.

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