Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa stresses the need for optimal nutrition during the first 1000 days of life

The Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa (NNIA) presented a paper on “Maternal and Infant Nutrition, the first 1000 days of life” at the sixth African Nutrition Epidemiology Conference held from the 21 to the 25 July 2014 in Accra on the theme of “Food and Nutrition Security in Africa: New Challenges for Sustainability”.

Speaking at the NNIA symposium, Mrs. Gladys Peprah Boateng, member of the NNIA and the Chief Dietician at the Dietherapy Unit of the 37 Military Hospital, Ghana, highlighted that malnutrition remains an issue of immense public health concern worldwide. 

“Globally malnutrition claims the lives of 2.6 million children annually. Malnourished children who survive are more frequently sick and suffer the life-long consequences of impaired physical and cognitive development. The first 1000 days of life, which covers pre-pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life, has been identified as a unique window of opportunity to maximize the potential of lives; adequate nutritional care during this period has proven to have long term benefits both for the individual and the nation”, she added . 

Nestlé, the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company, is committed to promoting healthy nutrition during the first 1000 days of a child’s life. The company will continue to collaborate with stakeholders in academia and the health care sector to identify and provide preventive solutions and strategies to promote optimal maternal and infant nutrition.

The NNIA, part of the independent, not-for-profit Nestlé Nutrition Institute, engages with healthcare professionals, scientists and nutrition communities to share leading science-based nutritional education, resources and research. Its work in Africa focuses on maternal, infant and young child nutrition and health.

The conference, organized by the African Nutrition Society, was attended by stakeholders from academia, healthcare professionals, government and non-governmental agencies. It comes one week ahead of World Breastfeeding Week, which will take place from the 1st to the 7th of August 2014.