At the World Health Assembly Wednesday, Member States approved a global monitoring framework on maternal, infant and young child nutrition. The WHO Secretariat was asked to develop recommendations for Member States on how to address the inappropriate marketing of complementary foods - foods for infants and young children who are still breastfed. They also asked the Secretariat to facilitate further development of the indicators described in this framework, and to convene informal consultations with Member States on tools to manage undue industry influence.
Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), José Graziano da Silva was present for the debate to address delegates. FAO and WHO will co-host the Second International Conference on Nutrition in November 2014. Both organizations were requested to ensure that other UN organizations, nongovernmental organizations the private sector and other stakeholders take part in consultations on the conference’s outcome.
Addressing nutrition challenges
Ministers of agriculture, health and foreign affairs are expected to adopt a global policy framework for the next decade to address the major nutrition challenges of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and noncommunicable diseases resulting from an unbalanced diet.
The estimated number of children under-5 years of age who are stunted (i.e. have low height for their age as a consequence of poor nutrition) has fallen, from 167 million in 2010 to 162 million in 2012. At the same time, the number of children under 5 who are overweight appears to be growing, from 41 million in 2010 to 44 million in 2012.
Technical briefing on health care under attack
Delegates discussed the increasing number of attacks on health workers, in both conflict and non-conflict settings. They reviewed common action to address the problem and reaffirmed the principles of the sanctity of health-care facilities and the safety of health-care workers.