06 June 2013, Dhaka. Civil Society Alliance for Scaling Up Nutrition, Bangladesh (CSA for SUN, BD) organised a meeting with nutrition and policymakers on “Exploring Opportunities for Scaling Up Nutrition” on June 04, 2013 at Spectra Convention Centre. Policymakers were invited to the meeting to discuss issues relating to nutrition and ways to improve the nutritional status of the country. Honourable State Minister for Women and Children Affairs, Meher Afroze Chumki, MP attended the event as the chief guest whereas the event was chaired by Dr. Sultana Khanum, SUN global civil society network focal point. Dr. Rukshana Haider, Chairperson of CSA for SUN, BD, Dr. Kaosar Afsana, Secretary of CSA for SUN, BD, Dr. Mustafizur Rahman, Programme Manager of IPHN attended the meeting as special guests.
On the onset, Dr. Sultana Khanum welcomed and thanked all participants and guest for attending event. She also mentioned that the event has been organised in alignment with the Global Hunger Summit, 2013 titled “Nutrition for Growth: Beating Hunger through Business and Science” Summit scheduled to be held on June 08, 2013 at London.
Dr. Rukshana Haider, Chairperson of CSA for SUN, BD in her speech highlighted that malnutrition in children and women still remains as a frontline challenge for Bangladesh and therefore collective multi-sectoral approach should be adopted to combat malnutrition in Bangladesh.
Dr. Kaosar Afsana, Secretary of CSA for SUN, BD in her speech stated that nutrition is not a standalone agenda rather requires multi-sector approach including nutrition, education, water, sanitation, agriculture, etc. According to her, a well-nourished woman would deliver a healthy baby and “if the baby gets proper nutrition he/she will grow strong and will succeed in schools and earn more”.
She pointed out that Investing in nutrition is a smart decision as she said “It can increase a country’s GDP by at least 2 to 3 percent annually. Investing a dollar in nutrition can result in a return of up to $ 30.”
The chief guest, Meher Afroze Chumki, MP Honourable State Minister for Women and Children Affairs stated that her ministry is relentlessly working to uplift the nutrition of women and children since about two third of the country’s population is composed of women and children. She shared that the government along with other stakeholders including NGOs and private sector has been able to significantly reduce maternal mortality ratio which has been accredited by the global community.
Following the panel discussion, the floor was made open for open opinions and questions.
In response to the statements and queries, the chief guest stated that maternity leave cannot be made specific since mothers face problems both before and after delivery. Therefore, the leave is given as per advice of the doctor.