“A good nutrition is when you take the food according to the body needs, your age, the work you do and your status whether pregnant mother or lactating mother,” Khamisa Ayoub, the Acting Director of nutrition Department in the Ministry of Health said.
As the world celebrates International World Food Day on 16 October, 2020, all eyes will be shifted to one of the pressing issues in our lifetime. The science that has been given little attention or that has taken back queue in the lines/lists of top priorities of the corporates, governments and private’s timetables. The scientific, study of taking food according to the body’s needs or better known as the Nutrition.
Nutrition is one of the most important health components that determine the strength of our immune systems to fight diseases or illnesses. As a result, experts advise the public especially the mothers to take nutritious food from pregnancy stage and feeding the infant with the four types of food nutrients (carbohydrates, Proteins, fats and vitamins) up to two years or more after the child was born. According to health practitioners, an infant needs to be breastfed immediately after birth with the colostrum for the growth, brain development and also to boost immunity.
Consequently, a movement has been formed across the globe to soar up supports for healthy living and to combat lifestyle diseases or illnesses such obesity, underweight, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular complications and disorders that are proved to be threat to our ways of live.
Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) is the lead movement established to get rid of malnutrition or bad nutrition and to build a better nourished world for the future generations.
Before SUN movement, there was a global recognition of the problem of malnutrition.
The 2008-2009 global spike in food prices and financial crisis resulting from global recession sparked a global concern. In 2008, the high-level food and Security taskforce was established by the United Nation Secretary General. In addition, Lancet for Maternal and Child Nutrition provided evidence for action. In 2010, there was a summit on food security which issued a policy brief called SUN- Framework for Action. By September 2010, SUN roadmap nutrition for partners was released during World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting.
In December 2010, United Nation Security Council on Nutrition kicked off SUN in Rome, Italy.
The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement is a renewed effort to eliminate all forms of malnutrition, based on the principle that everyone has a right to food and good nutrition. The Movement is unique by bringing different groups of people together -governments, civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and scientists in a collective action to improve nutrition. It is transforming the way in which people work together by empowering people to put in place effective systems and to increase investments. The SUN Movement is working to achieve sustainable and equitable reductions in malnutrition and nutrition justice for all.
It is not a fund, an institution or an agency, rather the Movement is strengthening political commitments and accountability for those commitments through voluntary membership of SUN Countries and to SUN Networks. While the SUN Movement Secretariat is hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services, the Movement belongs to all those who support it: United Nations agencies, scientists, parliamentarians, journalists, entrepreneurs, professional associations, community organizers, medical practitioners, civil servants and business leaders who understand that improving nutrition is key to unlocking a better future for children across the globe.
The SUN Movement is driven by its member countries. All stakeholders supporting the SU N Movement are committed to the idea that by transforming individual’s behavior to align behind national nutrition priorities, we can amplify the reach and impact of every stakeholder’s work and scale up nutrition in a faster. more equitable and sustainable way. This requires action across sectors, with people from different stakeholder groups and at all levels from national. district to the community level to reach the farthest and most vulnerable people. The F our
l. Bringing people together to work effectively through functioning multi-sector, multi-stakeholder platforms;
2. Putting policies and laws in place to establish a coherent policy and legal framework;
3. Implementing and aligning programme with common objectives and an agreed framework for results; and
4. Mobilizing resources from domestic sources supplemented by external assistance.
Nutrition-specific and Nutrition sensitive interventions and programme
By participating in the SUN Movement, countries are working together to establish and advance new transformative ways of working. They are focusing on the effective implementation of both specific actions for nutrition and nutrition-sensitive strategies a dual approach to nutrition within their national development programme.
South Sudan became a signatory and launched SUN in 2013, along with 59 other countries under the then undersecretary in the Ministry of Health who was then nominated as the SUN Focal Point.
It consists of networks of Civil Society organization, UN agencies, non- governmental organizations, international organizations, government agencies, the media, Business sector, parliamentarian network, academic network and technical community.
Nutrition in the context of breastfeeding and the growth of the child in the first 1000 days
The first 1000 days, or the thousand-day window of opportunity, recognized as the time between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday. It is the most critical period of growth and development in a child’s life. Proper nutrition during this period provides the essential building blocks for brain development, healthy growth and a strong immune system. No amount of food can cure a stunted child: good nutrition must start early to prevent stunting before it starts.
The Ministry of Health has advised the mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding for 1000 days immediately after the birth and to continue providing nutritious food for infant until such a time he is mentally developed and in good health.
Exclusive breastfeeding means that the infant receives only breast milk, no other liquids or solids are given-not even water with the exception of oral rehydration solution, or drops / syrups of vitamins, minerals and medicines.
In exclusive interview with Juba Monitor, the Acting Director for Nutrition Department in the Ministry of Health, Khamisa Ayoub Miluwa said that infants should be exclusively breastfed for two years or more for their optimal growth, development and general health of their bodies.
“Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both the mother and infant because breast milk contains all the nutrients an infant needs in the first six months of his/her life. Therefore, the infant needs to be breastfed for at least 1000 days or two years and so,” Ayoub said.
Ayoub stated that the first three days are critical and importance for child to feed on the first milk as this would protect the infant against diarrhea and common childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, and might also have longer term health benefits for the mother and child such as reducing the risk of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence.
“For children to start a good food, the best food for the child is breast milk, we need to put the child immediately after birth to breastfeed. During that time or after birth we have colostrum (reddish or yellowish milk that comes in the beginning or immediately after birth) which is rich in vitamins and contains antibiotic which prevents child from getting sick and make him/her strong,” she said.
According to Ayoub, 74% of women have been practicing exclusive breastfeeding, an encouraging statistic from the practice since the campaign began way back in 2013.