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SPRING and Partners Organize First Ever Parliamentary Forum on Nutrition in Uganda

Shamirah Nabbosa, a SPRING staff member, explains to the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda about SPRING's work aimed at the prevention and control of anemia.

Office of the Prime Minister, members of the tenth Parliament of Uganda, and partners are organizing an inaugural Parliamentary Forum on Nutrition to educate lawmakers on the state of nutrition in Uganda. USAID implementing partners SPRING, FANTA, Advocacy for Better Health, and Communication for Healthy Communities, along with World Vision Uganda and UNICEF participated in planning for the forum, which will be officially launched in May.

SPRING participated in the preparation meeting, the first of several, which also included various nutrition stakeholders in the country, permanent secretaries, and parliamentary researchers. SPRING also presented on the progress in the prevention and control of anemia, including establishing a conducive environment for programming, research, and training. The exhibition brought to light the high levels of malnutrition across the country. The stakeholders also highlighted the need for a concrete national policy direction on issues of food security, given the devastating consequences of the current food insecurity and drought.

Prime Minister and Guest of Honor, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, acknowledged the importance of forming the nutrition forum saying, “Nutrition is the foundation of development and an important factor to a healthy nation. It is time the Parliament started being engaged in food and nutrition issues in the country. By engaging in nutrition, we, politicians are supporting the aspirations of our nationals of being a middle income country by 2020, which demands for a healthy and productive population.”

The chairperson of the forum’s steering committee, Innocent Pentagon Kamusiime, says the forum aims to provide a rallying point for parliament to be an advocate and champion for prioritization of food and nutrition security in the national development agenda. He said nutrition is an important means to development and has high returns on investment.