- Posted December 30, 2013 by
Workshop on National Micronutrient Deficiency Control Strategy in Bangladesh
Micronutrients are essential nutrients that are required in small amounts, but benefit human health and nutrition. It significantly contributes to reduce morbidity, malnutrition and mortality. Vitamin A, iron, zinc, iodine, folate, Calcium, Vitamin D and vitamin B12 are among the important micronutrients. The deficiency can cause damage to the individual, family, and the entire nation resulting in loss of potential of productivity, education, income and overall the national development.
On this background, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh and the Development Partners supported the first ever national micronutrient survey of Bangladesh. The survey result reveals a high proportion of Bangladeshis are suffering from deficiencies of multiple micronutrients. The poor, marginalized women, food insecure and people living in slum suffer the higher burden.
The result of the survey generated public discourse and interest within the nutrition stakeholders with a call for formulation of a national micronutrient deficiency control strategy. The Institute of Public Health and Nutrition (IPHN) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh is leading the process on development of national micronutrient deficiency control strategy. The IPHN has requested GAIN to lead the strategy development process on Zinc, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Calcium. To start with, GAIN organized the workshop on zinc and vitamin B12 on December 29, 2013 at a local hotel.
Mr. MM Neazuddin, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, attended the program as the Chief Guest. National and International experts and development practitioners and senior officials from Government of Bangladesh attended the program and provided valuable insights on development of the national strategy.
“Bangladesh has achieved tremendous progress in achieving health and nutrition goals with a focus on poor and marginalized. The national micronutrient deficiency control strategy would further leverage the achievement significantly by improving micronutrient nutrition of its population. I appreciate the efforts of GAIN and other Development Partners to lead the national micronutrient survey and organize this national workshop,” says M.M Neazuddin, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh.
"We had laid the foundation together by accomplishing the national micronutrient survey, now we are working together to construct a durable house - a people friendly national micronutrient policy to protect the marginalized from the scourge of micronutrient problems." Says Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.
“National micronutrient deficiency control strategy development would be one of the most important milestones that the IPHN has undertaken to cherish its mandate of public nutrition goods.” Says, Dr. Lutfor Rahman, Director, Institute of Public Health and Nutrition (IPHN) and Line Director, National Nutrition Service (NNS).
Micronutrient Initiative (MI) and other sector actors led the sub-group consultation on Vitamin A and Iodine, and Iron respectively. The national micronutrient deficiency control strategy workshop is a very significant step towards reducing malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency in the country. It will make Bangladesh a nutrition pioneer in the region.