12 July 2023 – HMHB commenced its first regional meeting for the African region with Consortium members and partners today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The three-day meeting will unite diverse stakeholders, including over 120 representatives from 13 African nations, the African Union Commission, national governments, and others to elevate critical maternal nutrition issues and cost-effective interventions such as multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) to address them. Inaugurated by Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse, African Union’s Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, H.E Amb. Cessouma Minata Samate, this is a pivotal moment to kickstart new actions and recommendations for maternal nutrition policies in Africa.
The Minister will also launch the new Special Report: Focusing On Multiple Micronutrient Supplements In Pregnancy: Second Edition by HMHB member Sight and Life in a special ceremony on the first day of the meeting. This report compiles the latest evidence, country case studies, and resources to support implementers and country governments in introducing and scaling-up MMS. It features six articles by Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Consortium, the Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation – Technical Advisory Group (MMS-TAG), and the Micronutrient Forum.
The three-day meeting will feature a range of sessions from assessing the status of maternal nutrition in Africa, current MMS programs and challenges, particularly on advocacy and financing for maternal nutrition, raising awareness on MMS, building consensus, conducting a situation analysis and implementation research to learning from country experiences on integrating MMS in antenatal care services. This meeting is expected to generate great momentum towards improving maternal health in the African region, following the Abidjan Declaration in December 2022.