2 August 2023 – Following the African regional meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 12-14 July 2023 organized by HMHB, Micronutrient Forum, and partners, the African Union Commission issued a press release amplifying HMHB’s efforts in the continent to prioritize maternal nutrition. The meeting convened over 120 representatives from 13 African nations, who committed to new actions to scale up maternal nutrition interventions across national health systems in the continent.
The press release highlighted that an estimated 80% of women of reproductive age suffer from one or more vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and 13% of newborns are born with low birth weight in Africa. Multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) provide a cost-effective solution to increase the intake of essential vitamins and minerals during pregnancy and improve maternal and newborn health outcomes.
The African Union Commission expressed support for scaling maternal nutrition interventions, quoting Dr. Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, who urged stakeholders to work together to support all mothers by increasing access to proven solutions, such as prenatal supplements during pregnancy, and stated, “Ethiopia is implementing a number of national programs that improve maternal nutrition including micronutrient deficiency.”
Speaking on behalf of the AU Commission, Ms. Inas Mubarak, Head of Health Systems, Diseases and Nutrition further endorsed MMS saying, “We want to seize this opportunity to establish meaningful collaborations and set the pace for concrete action to accelerate the women’s nutrition agenda, implementing an MMS strategy and nutrition financing.”