A SUN Movement Tribute to Dr. Nasreen Khan of Bangladesh
On behalf of the SUN Movement, it is with a heavy heart that we share news that Dr.Nasreen Khan, long-time Deputy Programme Manager of the National Nutrition Services and SUN Technical Advisor in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has passed away.
Nasreen was a true champion for improving nutrition – not only in Bangladesh, but all over the world. Her personal drive, commitment and belief that a mutli-stakeholder and multi-sector approach – is the only approach to ending malnutrition, was infectious and she made everyone feel it was possible. She inspired all around her.
When we talk about nutrition champions – she embodied everything that a champion should be. She helped convene sectors, when few saw the value in it – and was a formidable advocate for ensuring Bangladesh’s response to the issue of malnutrition was holistic, involving the action of many.
Nasreen consulted, widely with passion and energy. Facilitating advocacy workshops, leading Behaviour Change Communication Working Group discussions, leading the charge on the National Nutrition Policy, convening journalist workshops to monitor the BMS code, collaborating on the National Plan of Action for Nutrition – was all in a day’s work for Nasreen. She truly believed that every stakeholder-be it government, civil society, business, parliament, United Nations agencies, donors – all have a significant contribution to make. Therefore, she gave her time generously. She listened, challenged and debated vigorously with everyone who knocked on her door. When there weren’t enough office hours in the day, she’d continue the discussions late into the night over a cup of tea.
Nasreen was a powerful voice for nutrition globally and her words and enduring commitment will guide others for many years to come. Her passion was infectious and you could always count on her to rally a room full of people with some colourful words:
“We have to put lipstick on nutrition. Make it sexy.”
“We need more trust, more commitment and more champions. Nutrition is not about investment, it is about political will.”
On behalf of the SUN Movement we extend our deepest sympathies to Nasreen’s family, friends and all the people she inspired so much. Nasreen – you are an inspiration and your work and flair for life will long be remembered.