A sharing event on “Improved Nutrition Through Multi-sectoral Approach: Experience of Nutrition at the Center” was held at Chameli Hall in CIRDAP in the capital on Monday, 2nd July, 2018. The event was organized jointly by CARE Bangladesh and Bangladesh National Nutrition Council (BNNC). At the onset of the event, a welcome speech was delivered by Mr. Prabodh Devkota, Assistant Country Director of CARE Bangladesh. He thanked the Bangladesh Government for the recent initiatives that were taken to eliminate malnutrition from the country. Though Bangladesh tackled malnutrition significantly, there are still a lot to be done to completely eradicate malnutrition, he said. He pointed that malnutrition specially affects young women and children. He also presented that a team of experts from CARE Bangladesh is always present to deliver an innovative model to solve nutrition issues.
Mr. Md. Habibur Rahman Khan, Additional Secretary, Health Services Division (Public Health and World Health), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Md. Ruhul Amin Talukder, Joint Secretary, Health Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ms. Jennifer Orgle, Program Director- Nutrition at the Center, CARE USA and Dr. Samir Kanti Sarkar, Director- Institute of Public Health Nutrition & Line Director, National Nutrition Services were present as special guests of the event. Dr. Shah Nawaz, Director General, Bangladesh National Nutrition Council presided over the event.
Realizing the need of attention in the nutrition sector, CARE Bangladesh implemented the project “Nutrition at the Center” on the basis of multi-sectoral approach in Bishwamverpur and Derai Upazila of Sunamganj district to tackle malnutrition. A brief project overview was given by Ms. Nazneen Rahman from CARE Bangladesh and the findings of the project “Nutrition at the Center” were presented by Mr. Rezaul Haque, Professor ACPR (Associates for Community and Population Research). Mr. Khrist Roy, Technical Advisor of “Nutrition at the Center”- CARE USA, drew conclusions of the presentation. He thanked the local government and all the administrative staffs for their contribution in implementing the project. It was evident that the project gained significant success in removing stunting among children and in creating a diversified food habit among women and children.
While speaking as the special guest, Mr. Md. Habibur Rahman Khan, Additional Secretary, Health Services Division (Public Health and World Health), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said that there are many ways to make people conscious about nutrition. He mentioned that observing National Nutrition Week is a good way to raise awareness against malnutrition. He also added that the Government is trying to establish a multi-sectoral platform in Upazila level by 2020.
Mr. Md. Ruhul Amin Talukder, Joint Secretary, Health Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said that Bishwamverpur Upazila of Sunamgnj district is a model in nutritional development. He appreciated the efforts of the teams involved in the project. He mentioned the steps taken by the Government to implement multi-sectoral approach. In his speech, Mr. Md. Ruhul Amin Talukder, stated the fact that he was really surprised to find out that a chairman of Upazila Parishad internalized nutrition as an emergency and was actively involved with establishing multi-sectoral platform. He expressed his satisfaction on the success of the project.
Presently Bangladesh government has many active policies to address malnutrition. If this process keeps on progressing, then a golden generation will be produced.
To address stunting through a multi-sectoral approach, the experience of Sunamganj can be utilized said Ms Jennifer Orgle. She emphasized on the collective effort to improve nutrition.
“Every Tuesday my organization communicates with 74 upazilas to solve nutritional problems through video conferencing. This practice helped us a lot to build a community and a productive platform” said Dr. Samir Kanti Sarkar. He promised the support from their end to ensure an efficient mechanism of the multi-sectoral approach.
Bangladesh National Nutrition Council awarded Bishwamverpur Upazila of Sunamganj district for their outstanding performance in observing National Nutrition Week 2018. Civil surgeon Dr. Ashutosh Das, Chairman of Bishwamverpur Upazila, Mr. Harunur Rashid and Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Dr. Chowdhury Jalal Uddin Murshed received the prize. At this stage, beneficiaries from the project area expressed their views.
During his speech, the chair of the event, Dr. Shah Nawaz, Director General of Bangladesh National Nutrition Council (BNNC) appreciated the multi-sectoral approach in eliminating malnutrition. In his closing remarks, he said that Bangladesh Government took under consideration the inclusion of multi-sectoral approach by forming Upazila Nutrition Coordination Committee in the sub-district level.
The event concluded with the launching event of Collective Impact for Nutrition (CI4N), which is the second phase of “Nutrition at the Center”.