Celebrating the Day of the African Child, key partners are recognising the positive impact Nestlé has on the lives of children in Africa.
Nestlé fully supports the 2018 theme for the Day of the African Child “Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development” which is celebrated on 16 June. Through its newly launched Nestlé for Healthier Kids global initiative, Nestlé’s ambition is to help 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030. The company wants to help the new generations eat and drink better as well as exercise more. It aims to achieve this by focusing on three areas: improve knowledge using research, offer innovative programmes and services and offer more nutritious food and beverages for children and families, in line with the company’s commitments to reduce sugar, fat and salt and fortify its products with vitamins and minerals.
Throughout Central and West Africa, key stakeholders have recognised Nestlé’s efforts to bring to life its purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future as well as deliver solidly against its 41 Creating Shared Value commitments.
In Burkina Faso, the Ministry of National Education and Literacy of is looking into integrating the Nestlé’s pioneer school wellness programme as part of its curriculum to promote health-hygiene-nutrition activities in educational structures. The Nestlé for Healthier Kids has been successfully piloted in the form of a classroom teaching session. Head of the School Health, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Programe and the country’s Contact Point for Nestlé for Healthier Kids implementation, Mr. Innocent Bamouni, said: “The programme is well-run, and needs to be supported and scaled up to cover more schools".
With the endorsement of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria, the pilot Nestlé Healthy Kids programme reached more than 81,000 children, and the scale- up aims to reach 17,000 children across 30 schools in 2018. Through Nestlé for Healthier Kids, children learn the importance of eating nutritious and varied food options, managing portions, choosing water and playing actively. During the launch of the Nestlé for Healthier Kids scale-up in Abuja, representatives from the ministries of health and education, the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Universal Education Board (UBEB), the Federal Capital Territory- Abuja and Ogun State Universal Education Board pledged their support to roll- out a successful programme.
In Ghana, the programme is run with the support of the Ghana Education Service, the Ministry of Education, and the University of Ghana Nutrition and Food Science Department. The vegetable gardening component of the programme was introduced to enable children adapt the habit of eating vegetables. Research has shown that children are more likely to eat vegetables when they know how they are grown. According to Head Teacher of the School, Mr. Lawrence Nyame, Duabone R/C Primary School in the Central Region of Ghana, is under the School Feeding Program. “Vegetables grown are added to other produce to cook for the pupils. He noted that the pupils have learnt a lot from the module and are now encouraged to grow and eat more vegetables at home”, he said.
Across the African continent, the Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa helps health care professionals (HCPs) to stay abreast of the most current scientific information, by enrolling them on programmes like the Post Graduate Programme in Paediatric Nutrition (PGPN) run by the Boston University School of Medicine. As at 2017, NNIA’s training activities had reached 21,795 HCPs, where cutting edge science and research topics relating to infant and childhood nutrition are shared in order to empower HCPs to improve the standards of care for children by familiarizing them with evidence-based guidelines and latest nutrition recommendations.