World Vision International
World Vision commends the numerous actions taken by multiple stakeholders in support of the Decade for Action, and nutrition more generally. The multisectoral approach to nutrition reflected in the participation of non-health stakeholders is encouraging, as is the growing progress in food marketing regulation.
It appears that food industry regulation is evolving at a much quicker pace than the health industry. We appreciate this report pointing out the need to invest in Baby Friendly Hospitals, as we learned from last year’s biennial report on maternal, infant and young child nutrition that only 10% of births occur in such accredited facilities. Coverage of foundational growth monitoring and promotion, accompanied by IYCF counseling, remains uneven. Coverage of treatment of S/MAM is an appalling 20%, and some countries do not even have treatment policies. It is time for ministries of health to assume responsibility for and accelerate positive change within health systems for nutrition.
We call on ministries of health also to advocate within their countries for not only legislative action on the International Code on Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes but prosecutorial action, without which existing laws are violated with impunity. Much greater political will is required to impact this intransigent issue.
We are grateful to see a recommendation on the need for increased professional capacity in nutrition, and further recommend that ministries of health identify and scale-up fundamental nutrition competencies not just within dedicated nutrition cadres, but across all health worker cadres.
As we move towards the Tokyo 2020 Nutrition for Growth summit, we anticipate ministries of health leading the way in identifying additional financial resources to be allocated towards addressing the current significant funding gap. We call on ministries of health to mobilize partner commitment across government agencies, resulting in strong national multi-sector commitments.