Leaving No Woman and Child Behind: Inequalities in Nutrition Coverage and Status Among Women, Children and Adolescents in West Africa
Food and nutrition security, particularly for children, adolescent girls, and women of reproductive age remain a priority for all ECOWAS Member States as there has been limited progress in achieving global nutrition targets. To assist national and regional authorities in defining evidence-led policies and actions, Countdown to 2030 organized two workshops in ECOWAS to strengthen the capacity of Member States in advanced data analysis.
The workshop’s objectives were:
- to enhance evidence for nutrition-related issues for women, adolescents and children in West Africa
- to strengthen the capacity for analysis of nutrition data from publicly available sources.
The end product of the two workshops is the Countdown to 2030 West African Initiative on Nutrition Technical Report. The report adopts the UNICEF data analysis framework which includes a set of indicators to assess nutritional status for children, adolescents, and adult women (e.g., anthropometry and anemia), and Infant and Young Child Feeding practices (e.g., early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, the introduction of complementary foods and continued breastfeeding). The technical report also analyzes ECOWAS countries’ national health and nutrition strategies to identify gaps.
Several recommendations can be made based on the results. One consists of expanding the dissemination of this evidence for decision-making, principally through policy briefs. Decisionmakers should tailor policies to address unequal coverage of nutrition interventions. The issue of data availability should be prioritized. Countries need to improve the quality, timeliness, and availability of data to support monitoring the programs and policies.
Peer-reviewed article – Jiwani et al, Trends and inequalities in the nutritional status of adolescent girls and adult women in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000: a cross-sectional series study
Micronutrient Forum conference poster – Jiwani et al, Levels, trends and inequalities in anemia and obesity among adolescent girls and adult women in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000