Landmark moment for Bangladesh with new Nutrition Council and National Action Plan
On 13 August 2017, Honourable Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina approved the second Bangladesh National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN2) 2016-2025. This landmark event coincided with the first meeting of the new National Nutrition Council, chaired by Hon. Hasina herself, at the Prime Minister’s Office.
In Bangladesh where 36 per cent of children under-five are stunted and 33 per cent are underweight, the new NPAN2 provides a strong basis for the multi-sectoral response needed to fight against malnutrition. Specifically, the NPAN2 focuses on children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers to improve nutrition and eradicate all forms of malnutrition across the country.
It’s a multi-sectoral plan to improve overall nutrition situation of Bangladesh… It is developed in alignment with the recently approved National Nutrition Policy.”
Dr Iftekhar Rashid, Health Systems Strengthening Team Lead in USAID.
The plan was the result of a robust national collaborative process and led to the inclusion of nutrition in the individual ministries and other stakeholders’ priorities. It comprises nutrition specific and sensitive public policies and direct actions in an array of sectors including health, education, agriculture, fisheries and livestock, environment, social protection, women empowerment, and disaster management. The new plan builds on the first national nutrition action plan, launched in 1996. Now in 2017, NPAN2 was led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and will step change the focus and priority of actions by the government and all partners.
“Nutrition depends on many factors. Our food habit must improve and we should eat in a timely manner.”
Hon. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Bangladesh and member of the first SUN Movement Lead Group.
Hasina called on people to adopt a balanced diet and stressed the importance of raising awareness of nutrition in rural areas. The prime minister noted that flooding caused significant damage to food production this year and stressed the importance of ensuring nutrition in addition to food security. She also said that the adoption of nutrition policy is not enough; rather people should be made aware about the nutrition values of various foods, including vegetables, meat and fish.
The meeting of the Council approved the Second National Plan of Action for Nutrition 2016-25 with some specific guidelines of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, Agriculture Minister Begum Maria Chowdhury, Food Minister Quamrul Islam, LGRD Minister Engineer Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, State Minister for Health Jahed Malek, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki and secretaries concerned were present at the meeting.