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Updated On: Monday, 16 September 2019

3.7 million lives could be saved by 2025 if health services ramp up nutrition actions: WHO

Content by: UN News Centre

The new report, Essential Nutrition Actions: mainstreaming nutrition throughout the life course, stresses the role of primary health care as the foundation of universal health coverage.

In order to achieve coverage for all, “nutrition should be positioned as one of the cornerstones of essential health packages”, Dr.

Naoko Yamamoto, Assistant Director-General at WHO said, echoing the report’s key message.

“We also need better food environments which allow all people to consume healthy diets,” he added.

In addition to helping countries achieve health care for all, stepping up nutrition actions could help boost economies, “with every $1 spent by donors on basic nutrition programmes, returning $16 to the local economy”, WHO said in a statement.

Meanwhile obesity levels continue to rise, jumping from 4.8 to 5.9 percent, for children between 1990 and 2018; an increase of nine million. When adults are accounted for, 13 per cent of the world’s population are considered obese, with numbers rising in nearly every country and region.Health issues stemming from poor nourishment have seen improvements in some respects, with a global decline in stunting, for example, between 1990 and 2018 from 39.2 to 21.9 per cent, in children under-five.

Intervention means health packages “need to contain robust nutrition components but countries will need to decide which interventions best support their national health policies, strategies and plans,” said the UN health agency.  

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